India on Wednesday sought enhanced supplies of crude oil and agreement for supply of LNG from Nigeria even as the bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to touch $12 billion during 2010-11.

The issues came up for discussion during the bilateral meetings between the visiting Nigerian Foreign Minister, Henry Odein Ajumogobia, and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Jaipal Reddy, here on Wednesday.

After the meeting, Mr. Sharma said bilateral trade between India and Nigeria is expected to touch $12 billion in the current fiscal. In 2009-10, trade between the two countries stood at $8 billion. He said that bilateral trade between the two countries had been growing at a healthy rate. “The annual trade is expected to reach $12 billion in 2010-11,” he added.

In the last fiscal, India exported goods worth $1.4 billion to Nigeria, while imported products worth $7.2 billion. Major export items to Nigeria comprise machinery and instruments, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment and electronic goods, while imports include petroleum, crude and products, non-ferrous metals, wood and cashew nuts.

Mr. Sharma informed the Nigerian Minister that the total Indian investment in Nigeria was estimated to be about $5 billion in 2010. Over 100 Indian companies are operating in Nigeria mainly in automobiles, telecom, hydrocarbons, textiles, chemicals, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics and IT industry.

During his meeting with Mr. Henry Odien Ajumogobia, the Petroleum Minister sought a 36 per cent increase in crude oil supplies from oil-rich Nigeria and also raked up the subject of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) on long-term contracts.

Mr. Reddy said India's annual requirement of Nigerian crude oil would be around 18 million tonnes from 2012-13. India imported 13.2 million tonnes of crude oil from Nigeira in 2009-10.

“Nigeria supplies 12-13 per cent of your requirement. We support higher exports to India,” the Nigerian Minister told reporters after the meeting.

Mr. Reddy said India was interested in tying up LNG imports from Nigeria immediately as the country's requirement for LNG is projected to go up by 12-15 million tonnes a year in the foreseeable future. The Nigerian Minister indicated that Nigeria LNG (NLNG) was considering dilution of a part of its stake and state gas utility GAIL (India) was being considered as one of the parties.

GAIL is also pursuing participation in the Nigerian Gas Master Plan Project and has submitted a proposal along with other international consortium members. It has also expressed interest in participation in petrochemical projects and city gas distribution projects in Nigeria.

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