India and Russia on last Friday held detailed dialogue on current and potential joint projects in the fuel and energy industry and probable mechanisms for transactions amid sweeping sanctions on Russia.
Russian Deputy PM Alexander Novak and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri. The parties discussed current and potential joint projects in the fuel and energy industry and noted that current projects continue to be steadily implemented, according to persons familiar with the matter. It is understood that the two Ministers have also discussed probable payment mechanisms for transactions.
“What we have is a particularly privileged strategic partnership; the leaders of our countries maintain regular contact. Mutually beneficial cooperation is actively promoted, including the Arctic LNG 2 and Sakhalin 1 projects. Gazprom supplies LNG to India, and Rosneft continues its systematic work with its Indian partners. We are interested in further attracting Indian investment to the Russian oil and gas sector and expanding Russian companies’ sales networks in India,” Novak told Puri, according to a Russian government readout.
According to Novak, major Russian companies are currently involved in projects in India, including the production, processing, and distribution of oil, natural gas, and coking coal.
“Russia’s oil and petroleum product exports to India have approached $1 billion, and there are clear opportunities to increase this figure. We expect to continue cooperating in the development of peaceful nuclear power, in particular, in building the nuclear power units at Kudankulam,” the Deputy Prime Minister said, according to the readout. Russia could also be keen to export oil to India for its strategic petroleum reserves. While the USA has put sanctions on buying oil from Russia, EU has decided to continue with its oil and gas exports from Russia.
Alexander Novak and Hardeep Puri also discussed cooperation between the two countries in education, in particular, expanding opportunities for Indian students to study at Russian universities.
It may be recalled that Puri visited Vladivostok for the 2021 edition of the Eastern Economic Forum. Energy is emerging as a major pillar of Indo-Russian ties after defence. India's cumulative investment in oil and gas projects in Russia exceeds $ 15 billion. It is the single largest destination of Indian overseas investment in the oil and gas sector. In 2020 Indian Oil Corporation had signed a deal with Rosneft for the annual purchase of 2 million tonne of crude oil. This was the first-ever annual oil purchase deal between the two countries. Russian oil giant Rosneft and its partner in 2017 bought Essar Oil, renamed Nayara Energy, for $ 12.9 billion. Gazprom has been shipping LNG to India under a 20-year contract.