India, Russia agree for joint E

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) India and Russia today agreed that national oil companies of both the countries will concretise mutually beneficial projects in oil exploration and production along with other related fields.

The decision came during the meeting between visiting Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and Russian Prime Minister Victor A Zubkov in Russia.

Both the sides discussed various avenues of mutual co-operation with emphasis on upstream, mid-stream and downstream sectors in India, Russia and the third countries in hydrocarbon sector.

During the meet, it was agreed that the national oil companies of both the countries will concretise mutually beneficial projects in the fields of exploration and production, grassroot refineries, modernisation of refineries, gas-based petrochemical plants, gas processing plants, participation in liquefied natural gas (LNG), an official statement said.

The discussion will continue at the second Indo-Russian Forum on Trade and Investment to be held here in February next year. In the meet, Russian Prime Minister with a delegation of leading businessmen will participate.

Mr Deora, who had a brief stopover in Turkmenistan yesterday, had wide ranging discussions with Mr B Muradov, Head of State Agency for Hydrocarbons Resources on various issues related to bilateral co-operation in oil and gas sector.

The two sides agreed to take forward co-operation in various activities in the hydrocarbon sector.

Mr Muradov asked India to participate in the three directions in which both the countries can proceed.

These areas are production sharing agreement (PSA) in the offshore Caspian Shelf for oil and gas blocks, service contracts for Indian companies in the onshore hydrocarbon facilities as onshore PSA is not allowed in Turkmenistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project on which the tenth steering committee meeting will meet in Islamabad by the year-end.

Mr Muradov also assured the Indian companies of full cooperation, saying Turkmenistan is interested in Indian participation owing to India's known expertise in these sectors.

Meanwhile, the Indian firms such as ONGC, GAIL and IOC along with a senior officer of Petroleum Ministry will visit Turkmenistan shortly to apprise the Turkmen side about the potentia, expertise of Indians side and prospects of cooperation in both upstream and downstream activities.

The visit will be followed by the Joint Working Group on co-operation in hydrocarbons scheduled to be held here in the first quarter of 2008.

Mr Deora and Mr Muradov, while discussing TAPI gas pipeline project said India would require 250 million cubic meter of natural gas per day by next year.

UNI

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