Saudi Energy Minister holds crucial meet in India, on these issues

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, H.E. Eng. Khalid A. Al-Falih in New Delhi on 9 March, 2019.

The meeting is a follow-up to the first State visit of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in February this year.

This visit also reflects the intensifying engagement between the two countries in the hydrocarbon sector. Saudi Arabia is the second largest supplier of crude and LPG to India. In 2017-18, India’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia were 36.8 MMT, accounting for 16.7% of our total imports.

During the meeting, Shri Pradhan referred to Saudi Arabia’s pre-eminent role as a leading producer of crude oil in the world, and in maintaining global oil market balance.

He raised concerns about increasing trend in global crude oil prices. He also pointed to the need for uninterrupted supplies of crude oil and LPG to India in view of the OPEC+ cuts. Both Ministers also discussed about possible adverse impact of recent geopolitical developments on global oil market.

The Ministers also reviewed various Saudi investment proposals in the Indian oil and gas sector, including the urgent steps to be taken to expedite the implementation of the first Joint Venture West Coast Refinery and Petrochemical Project in Maharashtra, estimated to cost US $ 44 billion, which will be the largest greenfield refinery in the world.

Saudi Arabia’s participation in Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) Program was also discussed.

Both the Ministers agreed to take concrete steps for early implementation of the decisions taken in the oil & gas sector during the visit of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India last month.

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