Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan held bilateral meeting with H. E. Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister for Energy of UAE in New Delhi today. Mr Mazrouei is in India, a day ahead of the State visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Sh Pradhan called the India-UAE bilateral relations as a time tested engagement. He expressed happiness that India and the UAE enjoyed warm, close and multifaceted relations for centuries and there was a mutual aspiration to develop a closer partnership between our two countries and there are several bilateral institutional mechanisms, covering various facets of bilateral relations that are helping both countries fulfill this aspiration. He recalled the successful and landmark visit of Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi to UAE in August last year as an example of our growing engagement.
During the meeting, both Ministers discussed areas of mutual interest to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. Sh Pradhan highlighted that cooperation in the field of hydrocarbon was an important element of our bilateral relationship and noted that nearly 8% of India’s petroleum products were sourced from UAE. Hence, it played an important role in our energy security.
Shri Pradhan conveyed that as Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, it is his earnest endeavour to boost trade and investment in the hydrocarbon sector between the two countries. He emphasized that there exists a lot of untapped potential and expressed confidence that our bilateral hydrocarbon linkages will grow in the coming years.
While there were no upstream engagements by any Indian E&P Company in UAE, Shri Pradhan informed that from UAE that Indian Public Sector Enterprises, such as ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Oil India were interested in seeking participation in the producing assets or prospective exploration rounds in the UAE. He also conveyed that Indian companies are interested in acquiring a stake in ADCO for onshore oil operations.
Highlighting the technical capabilities of Indian PSUs and their proven track record of executing several major projects abroad, Sh Pradhan said that they were well qualified to undertake Engineering Procurement Contracts (EPC) Projects in the UAE. In this regard, he expressed interest of Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is keen to undertake EPC projects. He also suggested that there was considerable potential for establishing JVs in petrochemicals, fertilizers and project export sectors.
Sh Pradhan expressed happiness that Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was working with Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL) on the strategic reserve project in Mangalore. He conveyed that the project was on track and will be concluded soon.
Mr Pradhan briefed Mr Mazrouei on the major projects in the hydrocarbon sector being taken up by Indian PSUs in various parts of India, such as OPaL project at Dahej Gujarat, BORL project at Bina, Madhya Pradesh, HPCL’s integrated refinery cum petrochemical plant at Andhra Pradesh, etc. In this context, he sought investments from UAE in these important projects which were at various levels of maturity and development and required investment for the next 4 months to 4 years along with equity participation. He called UAE as India’s preferred partner and expressed confidence that the UAE will take advantage of these investment opportunities in India. Given India’s growing requirement of petroleum, Mr Pradhan also said that India was trying to import more crude oil from UAE, he, accordingly, sought favourable terms for Indian oil companies for import of crude oil and LPG from the UAE.
Mr Pradhan expressed confidence that the State visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India along with the our renewed political engagement in the last one year, the bilateral cooperation in trade and economy will reach new heights. In this regard, he expressed India’s keenness to work with the UAE for benefiting mutually from the complementarities that exists between the economies, especially in the hydrocarbon sector.