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Rosneft looks at raising bet on India ahead of Modi’s Russia

Rosneft looks at raising bet on India ahead of Modi’s Russia

Moscow, August 28 - Neftegaz.RU.
Russian oil major Rosneft appears to be raising its bet on India ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s September 4 visit to Vladivostok as the chief guest at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum, a business conference aimed at promoting investments in the Far East region of Russia, The Times of India reported.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan is arriving in Moscow on Thursday for discussing new areas of co-operation in the oil and gas sector with his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak. This will be the 3rd ministerial-level interaction with the Russian establishment ahead of Modi’s visit.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar arrived in Moscow on Tuesday. Commerce minister Piyush Goyal was in Vladivostok earlier this month at the head of a delegation, including four chief ministers. These visits are laying the ground work for dovetailing bilateral trade and investments into the time-tested strategic ties between the two countries.

"Oil and gas remain one of the key areas of co-operation. Both sides now want to take the relationship to a new level. Rosneft has very good working relationship and is comfortable working with state-run companies. Rosneft now wants India to participate in a big project,” one official source told TOI without identifying the project.

Indian state-run oil companies have invested billions of dollars in Russia’s oil and gas fields in the country’s Far East. In a big-ticket reverse flow, a Rosneft-led consortium acquired Essar Energy’s Vadinar refinery in a $13 billion deal in 2017.

Pradhan wants to expand the Indian footprint in Russia’s exploration and production sector. He will also want to see Russian companies invest in the massive expansion in gas distribution networks in 400 cities across India. Talks have been going on between the two sides for an Oil India-led consortium of Indian public sector undertakings investing in the Vankor Cluster field. That deal has been hanging fire.

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