India to source more oil and gas from Russia

Mumbai: India proposes to buy more oil and gas from Russia to meet its rising requirements. The country is trying to increasingly diversify sources of energy as the demand grows, petroleum minister Murli Deora said at a function organised to mark the arrival of the first consignment of crude oil from Sakhalin-I project.

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has 20 per cent stake in Russia's Sakhalin-I project. It has so far shipped 90,000 tonnes (700,000 barrels) of crude from its share in the project, with the tanker Viktor Titov arriving with the consignment at Mangalore port on Friday morning.

The second consignment, of a similar size, is expected to arrive at month-end.

"Russia is our important friend and we look towards them when we think of our energy needs and security of the country," Deora said. India imports more than 70 per cent of its crude oil requirement and most of it comes from the Middle East countries.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), an ONGC subsidiary, will process the Sakhalin crude.

"Russia being the largest producer of gas and having largest gas reserves is definitely important to us. We believe that Russia would be playing a major role in balancing the energy access in the globe. The multi-polar energy supply chain, which Russia is capable of creating would help us to diversify our sources," he said.