India offers stakes to UAE in petro projects

India offers stakes to UAE in petro projects

India has offered UAE stakes in petrochemical plants and refinery projects as it seeks to boost

energy ties with the cash-rich Gulf nation.

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is currently on a two-day visit to the UAE, promised

“fair, transparent and attractive” policy regime for investing in oil and gas sector in India through

“appropriate policy, regulatory and fiscal interventions”.

Addressing industry captains in Dubai, he showcased investment opportunities for UAE, which

had in August last year committed to invest $75 billion in India.

On offer was 26 per cent stake for $700 million in state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s

(ONGC) about-to-be-commissioned petrochemical project at Dahej in Gujarat.

Besides, there was 24 per cent equity available for $200 million in expansion being planned by

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) of its subsidiary Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh, from 6

million tonne to 7.5 million tonne.

Also, an investment of $530-850 million can get the UAE 25-40 per cent stake in HPCL’s

planned petrochemical plant on the Andhra coast, he said, adding that the Gulf nation can also

invest in the planned 60 million tonne in Maharashtra and the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Paradip-

Surat gas pipelines.

“UEA makes up for 8 per cent of our oil imports. We are trying to import more oil from UAE. In

2016-17, we plan to import 2.5 million tons more oil than 2015-16’s purchase of 16.11 million

tons,” he said.

An official statement said the minister in his meeting with business leaders called for greater

economic and strategic ties between India and UAE.

“India-UAE trade has increased phenomenally in the last half a century. The trade, valued at

$180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around $60 billion making UAE, India’s third

largest trading partner since 2014-15,” the statement quoted him as saying.

There is an estimated $8 billion UAE investment in India of which around $3.13 billion is in the

form of foreign direct investment, while the remaining is portfolio investment and UAE is the

eleventh biggest investor in India in terms of FDI.

Pradhan said India genuinely believes that there is potential to transform the buyer-seller

relationship with UAE in energy into a genuine energy partnership.

India has allowed 100 per cent FDI in oil and gas exploration and production, refining, pipelines

and fuel marketing.

Also, the government last month announced Hydrocarbon Exploration Licencing Policy (HELP)

to streamline the award of hydrocarbon acreages under a new fiscal and contractual regime.

Highlighting the major points in HELP, he said companies can now explore and produce

conventional oil and gas as well as unconventional hydrocarbon such as CBM and shale under a

single licence.


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