India, Sri Lanka bat for strengthening energy ties

Bhubaneswar, Feb 6 (IANS) India on Saturday held discussions with Sri Lanka to strengthen bilateral relations in the petroleum sector.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting here with Anoma Gamage, deputy minister of petroleum resources development of Sri Lanka.

Pradhan discussed issues like expansion of activities of Lanka IOC, including in the retail business, bunkering and marketing of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and cooking gas.

Lanka IOC is a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and one of the major retail players in the Sri Lankan market and has been highly active there for several years.

He reiterated the commitment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work with Sri Lanka to make Trincomalee a regional energy hub.

He expressed India’s interest in establishing refinery and bunkering operations in Sri Lanka.

“We assure you that India is committed to help Sri Lanka emerge as petroleum hub,” Pradhan told the visiting minister.

He expressed confidence that both Sri Lanka and India will work in a spirit of partnership in the hydrocarbon sector.

“We hope this visit will benefit our bilateral relationship and economy of Sri Lanka and benefit Lanka IOC,” Gamange said.

Officials from Sri Lanka’s oil and gas sector as well as from India’s petroleum ministry were also present at the meeting.

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