Saudi Aramco plans “mega investment” in India

RIYADH: The world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Aramco, on Monday said it is exploring opportunities for investments and joint ventures in India, the world’s third-largest oil consuming nation.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H Al-Nasser and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, jointly inaugurated the company’s office in Gurgaon, in a move to strengthen the bilateral partnership in the hydrocarbons sector.

Amin H Al-Nasser at CERAWeek petroleum summit said, “India has all the signs of a prosperous economy that is on the move. This is a market of investment priority and not a choice anymore,” Nasser said. “We have a number of partners with whom we are going to have serious discussions,” reported Bloomberg.

“We are looking at mega investment in India, as it is an important market. India is going from 4.6 million barrels per day of oil consumption to 10 million barrels per day by 2040.”

“Saudi Aramco, through its subsidiary Aramco Asia India (AAI), established its business presence in India in 2016. The AAI will now formally engage in crude oil and LPG marketing, engineering and technical services, and other business development activities,” said an Indian Petroleum Ministry release.

“Aramco India plans to expand its operation by introducing hydrocarbon sector services functions, including engineering services, information technology operations and security and a research and development centre. It intends to partner with Indian companies and set up integrated business ventures in the hydrocarbon value chain in India,” it said.

“Saudi Aramco intends to partner with Indian companies and set up integrated business ventures in the hydrocarbon value chain in India, including to boost ‘Make in India’ activities,” the statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India is one of the biggest markets for Saudi oil and LPG.

Saudi Aramco’s Office in India will help in strengthening the existing buyer-supplier relationship between the two sides to a strategic partnership in the hydrocarbon sector, he said.

Saudi Arabia is the second largest supplier of crude after Iraq.

Saudi Aramco accounts for about 19% of India’s crude oil imports and 29 per cent of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or cooking gas, imports.

As per official data, India imported about 39.5 million tonnes of crude from Saudi Arabia during 2016-17.

Saudi Aramco is investing in refineries in major markets to lock in customers ahead of its initial public offering next year.

In India, it is looking for investment opportunities in refining and petrochemical projects.

With agencies inputs