India in talks with Indonesia for refineries, LNG plants
New Delhi: India is discussing setting up refineries and liquified natural gas (LNG) plants in Indonesia, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
In an attempt to increase its presence in its eastern neighbourhood, India is selling diesel to Bangladesh via rail. “Recently, we have dispatched the first consignment of diesel to Myanmar,” he said at India-ASEAN Partnership@25 conference in New Delhi.
“We are currently in consultation with Indonesia for partnering in the refining and LNG sector.” He, however, did not give details. Stating that India’s presence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region has been historic, he said one of the country’s oldest overseas oil and gas fields was acquired in 1988 in Vietnam.
“We also have oil and gas assets and equity in gas pipeline in Myanmar. Today, we have a growing engagement with ASEAN region in the hydrocarbon sector,” he said. ASEAN region, he said, is also a source of crude oil and LNG to meet India’s hydrocarbon requirement.
Last year, India imported 6 million tonnes of crude oil from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, accounting for 2.8% of the total crude oil imports, which is an increase of 12% from the year before. It also imported 1.45 million tonnes of LNG mainly from Singapore and Malaysia accounting for 7% of the total LNG imported.
India also imported one million tonnes of petroleum products and some quantities of LPG from the region, he said. Pradhan said there is a healthy collaboration between oil majors Indian Oil Corporation and Petronas of Malaysia. The two companies, he said, are working in India and third country. The Malaysian national oil company is a reliable partner in technology.
“Our oil marketing companies are also in the process of increasing their foot prints in the retail marketing segment in the ASEAN countries,” he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, has invited heads of ASEAN countries next month. “It is our tradition that we call foreign dignitaries on the occasion of our Republic Day. First time since independence heads of ten countries would be visiting the country,” he said.
India and ASEAN together represent one-fourth of world’s total population. “It is our endeavour to work together. We have shared culture and long standing economic ties. If you work together it will have great impact on the world’s economy,” he said. ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2% of its total trade.
Investment flows are also substantial both ways, with ASEAN accounting for about 12.5% of investment flows into India since 2000. FDI inflows into India from ASEAN between April 2007-March 2015 were about $32 billion. Whereas FDI outflows from India to ASEAN countries, from April 2007 to March 2015 was about USD 38 billion.
“The ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has been completed with the entering into force of the ASEAN-India Agreements on Trade in Service and Investments on July 1, 2015,” Pradhan said.
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