India and Kuwait agreed on Monday to expedite discussions for finalizing joint venture projects both upstream and downstream in the oil and gas sector.
This was resolved at a meeting here between petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily and Kuwait's minister of amiri diwan affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Ak-Jaber Al-Sabah, a petroleum ministry statement said.
Suggesting that experts of both countries should deliberate on specific projects, the Kuwaiti minister invited Indian oil companies, officials from which attended the meeting, to visit Kuwait.
Moily stressed the need to give new momentum to the friendly and long-standing bilateral relations, and invited Kuwaiti companies to invest in oil and gas exploration ventures and petrochemical projects in India. He gave examples of up-coming petrochemical projects at Dahej, Mangalore and Paradip.
Moily also proposed participation of India's state-run EIL in developing Kuwait's oil industry projects.
Kuwait is an important partner in India's quest for energy security, providing 10%-11% of India's crude oil imports annually.
The year 2011 was a landmark year for bilateral trade as it crossed the $10 billion mark for the first time to reach $12.27 billion.
Kuwait Petroleum Cooperation, whose CEO, Farook Al-Zanki, was present at the meeting, has signed a renewable annual contract in September 2012 with Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum for exports of four types of Kuwaiti oil worth $10 billion for five years.