Russia may ink 2 pacts on Siberian oil fields

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2014 12:17 IST

India and Russia are set to bring out a blueprint for energy cooperation in the form of a vision document during President Vladimir Putin’s December visit as Moscow looks to expand its ties beyond west as well as China.

According to sources, two pacts which enable the state-run ONGC Videsh Limited to get stakes in Vankor and Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye oil fields in Siberia are likely to be signed during Putin’s visit. Getting a stake in the Vankor field is strategically significantly as it is aimed at feeding greater Chinese energy demands, sources familiar with the development said.

Russian oil firm Gazprom is negotiating for as much as 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from West Siberia to China for a period of 30 years. China and Russia had also inked a $400 billion energy deal in May.

ONGC-Videsh Limited has substantial investment totalling over $5 billion in two major oil and gas projects — Sakhlin-1 and Imperial Energy Limited (Tomsk).

Sources said the blue print includes India and Russia firming up their cooperation in the Arctic offshore. In the face of sanctions from the European Union, Russia is stepping up its energy ties with China.

Russian firms are also eyeing India as a market for their offshore projects in Bangladesh. Another focus area is the renewable energy sector. “Use of alternative sources or renewable sources of energy is something Prime Minister Modi is giving a lot of attention to. The Russians have key technology advantages in this sector,” said a source. Russian expertise in developing silicon ingots will help India expand its solar energy programme in a cost-effective manner.

The vision document is placed in the context of NDA government’s ambitious push in the sector. It is estimated that India will need $250bn of investment in the power sector — for both generation and transmission in the next five years — to meet its target of doubling electricity output.

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