New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Saudi Arabia has agreed to consider India’s call for continued support from Riyadh to meet its growing demand for crude oil and natural gas while also looking at collaborative ventures between the two sides in hydrocarbons projects.
This was conveyed during an official visit of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to Saudi Arabia during which he held consultations with Assistant Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, among others.
According to an official statement issued by the Indian side Wednesday, the Indian side not only conveyed its growing requirement for crude oil, but also about the conducive environment that was being created to increasde oil refining capacity.
“Both sides also discussed specific issues concerning the public sector oil companies in India and Saudi Arabia. The Indian side said there was huge potential to further develop trade and investment relations especially in the oil sector,” the statement said.
“India invited Saudi companies, including Aramco, to participate and invest in crude oil storage facilities and down-stream industries in India.”
Minister Pradhan also invited Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman to visit India with a high-level delegation in the first quarter of the next year to take forward the fruitful talks held during the second round of Saudi Arabia India Energy Consultations.
He called on Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Niami and appraised him about the recent initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, especially the “Make in India” campaign in 25 sectors, including oil and gas.
The Indian delegation also visited Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and made a presentation on “Reinvest” — India’s first renewable energy exposition scheduled from Feb 15-17 in New Delhi.
The Indian side told its Saudi counterpart that the kingdom was key to India’s energy security and was one of the major sources of its energy. India imports more than 20 percent of its crude requirement from Saudi Arabia.
The delegation members said Saudi Arabia was India’s largest supplier of butane and propane besides being the fourth largest trade partner, with two-way shipments amounting to nearly $50 billion last fiscal.
They visited Saudi Aramco headquarters in Dhahran and had an interactive meeting with prominent businessmen at Chamber of Commerce in Dammam, before departing for New Delhi from Dammam Tuesday night.