New Delhi: Petroleum Minister Murli Deora will leave on 18 April on a three-nation tour to hunt for oil exploration acreage and cheap LNG as part of India’s larger objective to achieve energy security.
Deora will lead a high level delegation to Egypt, Algeria and Syria between 18 and 25 April.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and the consortium of Indian Oil Corp and Oil India Ltd are keen on bidding for exploration blocks to be offered by three nations shortly. Besides, India is keen on importing LNG from Egypt and Algeria to meet its energy deficit, he told reporters here.
While IOC is keen on constructing a 6.5 million tons refinery at Deir Ez Zor and upgradation of a similar capacity Banias refinery in Syria, EIL is keen on revamp jobs of Hayan and Banias refineries.
GAIL is interested in city gas projects and Hindustan Petroleum is keen to market lubricants in the oil-rich nation.
“We will pursue these interests when I meet Syrian oil minister Soufian Allaw tomorrow,” he said.
On 20 April, Deora and his delegation would arrive in Algeria where he would pursue long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to GAIL, besides exploring IOC’s interest in gas-based petrochemical project. Opportunities for Indian oil PSUs in city gas distribution projects would also be taken up during the visit.
Deora said during the final leg of his tour to Cairo on 22 April, he would discuss possibilities of stake for Indian firms in oil and gas fields.
IOC’s interest in building a pipeline from Mediterranean to Red Sea would also be discussed, and so would GAIL’s interest in Egyptian Propylene and Polypropylene Company’s (EPPC) petchem projects.
India has already imported some cargoes of spot LNG from Egypt and Algeria, while state-run and private oil companies are increasingly targeting these three nations in search of oil exploration acreage.
Deora said his talks in Egypt would focus on LNG imports while in Algeria, the focus would be additionally on crude oil imports and on acquiring oil exploration acreage.
He would be accompanied by Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan, ONGC chairman R.S. Sharma, ONGC Videsh Ltd managing director R.S. Butola, IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria, GAIL chairman and managing director U.D. Choubey and EIL chairman Mukesh Rothagi