India, OPEC to hold annual institutional dialogue

Vienna, June 4 (IANS) Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday held a detailed discussion with OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri on the global energy situation and both sides also agreed to establish an annual institutional dialogue.

“Had a detailed discussion on World Energy Scenario with Secretary General of OPEC Mr Abdalla Salem El- Badri,” Pradhan tweeted.

“We agreed to establish annual India-OPEC institutional dialogue between the two sides,” he said in another tweet later.

The oil cartel and India has agreed to conduct the dialogue every year, alternatively in India and at Vienna, and will look at various avenues of cooperation in the oil and gas sector with the first meeting scheduled in New Delhi in India towards the beginning of 2016. The dialogues are to be conducted at the ministerial and secretary general level.

Pradhan met his counterparts from Angola, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Quatar, UAE and Russia to discuss possibilities on the oil and gas segment.

During his meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, it was agreed upon to expand bilateral energy cooperation besides conducting a joint study at an early date for exploring feasibility of crude and gas pipelines from Russia to India. India has shown interest to import LNG and crude from Russia. The two sides also reviewed existing Indian investment projects in Russia and discussed possibility of working together in exploration and production sector.

In the discussion between Pradhan and Saudi Arabian Minister of State for Petroleum, Abdul Aziz Bin-Salman, it was agreed upon to explore and identify concrete avenues of energy cooperation between the two countries.

India has also discussed the possibility of Indian public and private sector involvement in hydrocarbon sector in Iraq.

Pradhan has also proposed to set up a joint mechanism to settle all outstanding commercial issues with Venezuela which the South American country has agreed to consider. Venezuela is the third biggest source of crude import for India and ONGC Videsh Ltd has invested in oil blocks in that country.



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