India, Russia to boost cooperation in oil sector

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-run oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, is keen to invest in new upstream projects in Russia, petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy said today.

Natural gas distribution and marketing company Petronet LNG Ltd is also in the process of finalising an LNG import pact with Russia's state-run Gazprom soon, the minister said.

Reddy was speaking after a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shmatko on the sidelines of the 20th World Petroleum Congress at Doha, Qatar, today.

The meeting was also attended by petroleum secretary G C Chaturvedi, Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, ONGC chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva, OVL managing director D K Shroff and Petronet LNG managing director A K Balyan.

OVL, Reddy said, showed keen interest in participating in the Sakhalin-3 and other fields. The company is in close talks with Gazprom to jointly develop projects to produce LNG and gas pipelines, its transportation and marketing, he added.

India and Russia also discussed swap trade in LNG imported by Japan from Qatar by making available LNG from Russian sources like Sakhalin. India also proposed participation of Petronet in the projects along with OVL.

Petronet will soon finalise an agreement with Gazprom for sourcing LNG from Russia. The heads of agreement for supply of about 2.5 million tones of LNG were signed recently at Singapore. The LNG is proposed to be sourced from Shtokman field. Petronet also showed interest in importing more LNG as the demand in India was growing rapidly.

The leaders recalled the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries. Reddy noted the contribution of Russia in building capacities in the various sectors of Indian economy in general and oil and gas sector in particular.