Maher Chmaytelli, Bloomberg
Cyprus: Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s largest petroleum producer, is planning to bid for oil exploration rights in Algeria, as the Asian nation seeks access to energy reserves abroad.
India also wants to import liquefied natural gas and petroleum gas from the North African nation, Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, said during a visit to Algiers today, according to a statement published by the government’s press information office in New Delhi.
India, Asia’s second-most populous nation, fourth-largest economy and third-largest oil consumer behind China and Japan, is increasing drilling for petroleum abroad as economic growth boosts demand and domestic output from aging fields stagnate.
Algeria, Africa’s largest gas producer, is seeking markets in Asia and America in order to reduce reliance on European nations that consume about 90% of its exports of the fuel.
Natural-gas distributor GAIL (India) Ltd is interested in participating in projects to liquefy Algerian natural gas for exports, said the Indian government statement. It is also looking into a $7 billion (Rs29,177 crore) pipeline project to carry gas from Nigeria to Europe, it said.
The 4,500-kilometer (2,800-mile) pipeline would run from the delta of the Niger River, in southern Nigeria, across the African state of Niger to Algeria and then across the Mediterranean Sea to Spain, with possibly a branch going to Italy, according to the plan published last year by Algeria’s state-oil company Sonatrach.
Executives from Indian Oil Corp. Ltd and Engineers India Ltd, a designer of oil refineries, are also among Deora’s delegation, which met officials including Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem and Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, said the statement.