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'Russia can help solve energy crisis'

A CII report says collaboration with the country in exploration of oil and gas may answer India's energy needs.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2007 10:21 IST

Collaboration with Russia in exploration of oil and gas might be the answer to India's energy crisis instead importing fossil fuel from there, a CII report said.

India has proposed many joint ventures between the two countries to strengthen the energy ties, as it plans to double its annual import of crude oil to about 200 million tonnes a year, of which around 50 million is expected to come from Russia, industry chamber CII's report on Indo-Russian relationship said.

Both countries have agreed to cooperate in the energy sector, particularly in refining and downstream project, with India proposing an 49:51 exploration venture between India's Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) and Russian gas major Gazprom for a stake in Sakhalin-III oil and gas project in the far east.

Besides, Deora has offered Russian firms a stake in Indian Oil Corp's proposed $4 billion Paradip refinery and petrochem project in Orissa.

"Indian oil corporation is planning expansion of its refining and delivery capacity by 30 million tonnes annually and we have invited the Russian oil majors to participate in downstream projects, including product pipelines," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had said.

The ONGC-Gazprom combine could also participate in joint explorations of oil and gas in India, Russia and other countries, besides working on gas liquefaction projects in Russian offshore fields for shipments to India, the report said.

Although, in Russia, nationalism is increasing in the oil and gas industry, it needed foreign investments and was looking to raise over $20 billion from investors in listing in the next 18 months.