With Petrotech 2014 conference activity being ground for pursuing oil diplomacy, India has urged Kuwait to invest in the upcoming LNG terminals in the Western and Easter coasts in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Mangalore, and Pudur in Karnataka.
This offer was made by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veraapa Moily to a visiting Kuwati delegation led by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) head Nizar al-Adsani — who is taking part in the conference which showed interest in investing in upstream and downstream projects in India. Mr. Moily impressed upon the KPC delegation that India was making huge investments in setting up around a dozen-odd LNG terminals and it would certainly look towards investments by Kuwait in them.
Officials at the conference said KPC had expressed interest in buying 26 per cent stake in State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGCs) Rs. 21,396 crore petrochemical plant at Dahej, Gujarat as well as another project in Mangalore. Both ONGC and KPC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly work in the hydrocarbon sector.
ONGC holds 26 per cent stake in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd. — the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for setting up the chemical complex at the Dahej special economic zone (SEZ). Five per cent stake is with the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and State-run GAIL India has 15.5 per cent. The remaining 53.5 per cent equity valued at Rs. 3,434.05 crore is yet to be formalised. Kuwait is also eying a stake in ONGCs petrochemical plant coming up at Mangalore and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (BPCL) proposed chemical unit at Kochi in Kerala.
Mr. Moily also held bilateral talks with Azerbaijan's Minister for Energy Natig Aliyev and flagged Indian companies' interest in taking oil and gas exploration and production as well as refinery projects in the Central Asian nation.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL) had last year bought a stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfields as well as the Baku-Tbilsi-Ceyhan pipeline, which was supported by Azerbaijan. The South-Western Asian nation is now keen to get Indian participation in more producing assets. Mr. Moily also raised the issue of Indian companies including state-run Indian Oil Corporation finding it difficult to buy
Azeri crude oil. IOC lifted 1.28 million tonnes of crude from Azerbaijan in 2012-13 and imported 0.9 million tonnes during April-November of the current financial year.