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Russian gas giants look to expand in India as New Delhi, Moscow ramp up efforts to strengthen energy ties

Russian gas giant Gazprom and oil major Rosneft are looking to expand their presence in India as the two countries step up efforts to strengthen energy cooperation.

india Updated: May 22, 2018 23:08 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India,Russia,energy
Strengthening bilateral ties through the energy sector figured prominently in talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi held with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at an informal summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. (PTI)

Russian gas giant Gazprom and oil major Rosneft were looking to expand their presence in India as the two countries step up efforts to strengthen energy cooperation, officials familiar with the developments said on Tuesday.

Strengthening bilateral ties through energy sector figured prominently in talks Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at an informal summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. “There are serious plans for further cooperation between our oil corporations. I mean first of all, Rosneft, which has gained a stronghold on the Indian market,” Russian news agency TASS quoted foreign minister Sergey Lavrov as saying after the meet. He said Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of the gas giant, had “interesting plans” for India.

The two countries, said an official, were also aggressively pursuing plans to build nuclear power projects in other countries. Modi and Putin noted the progress made in many areas, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “The oil exports from Russia to India going up by ten times in 2017 was something Russian side took a special note of,” the diplomat said.

Energy cooperation was a work in progress and New Delhi was looking to wide-base India’s oil imports. Strategic tie-ups would boost the effort, a second official said.

“There are very smart moves in recent past. The consortium that consist IOC, BHPL, and Oil India buying 23.9% in Rosneft’s subsidiary Vankorneft is an example of this,” the official said.

The two leaders were looking forward to the first consignment of LNG that would arrive in India in June as part of an agreement between Gazprom and GAIL, a release issued by the Indian side said on Monday.

First Published: May 22, 2018 23:08 IST