New Delhi, Nov 25 : Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora has said that India welcomes participation of companies from CIS regions for investing in the Oil and Gas sector in India.
Speaking at the inaugural session of India-CIS roundtable in New Delhi today, Deora said that the possible areas for investments include Greenfield refineries and petro-chemical projects, exploration and production through New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).
The roundtable has been jointly organized by the Petroleum Ministry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He informed that the next NELP round will be launched in early 2009.
The Minister pointed out that India is seeking a greater "synergy in energy" with CIS countries.
He also referred to the existing cooperation and projects, which include Sakhalin-I project in Russia, discussions on import of natural gas from Turkmenistan and on business opportunities in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
Elaborating the areas of interest for Indian companies in CIS countries, Deora said that we are ready to associate ourselves with gas processing and gas based petro-chemical projects, assist in modernization and setting up refineries, impart training to hydro-carbon sector personnel of these countries in the excellent in-house capabilities with Oil Public Sector Units (PSUs).
He emphasized that the connectivity and linkages of strong historical and cultural ties between India and CIS countries should be utilized for greater common benefit in the hydro-carbon sector.
In his address as the Chief Guest on the occasion, Sergey Shmatko, Minister of Energy, Russian Federation called for long-term strategic relations between India and Russia in the hydro-carbon sector.
He said that he has proposed a joint working group for encouraging joint enterprise between the companies of two countries during his bilateral meeting with Deora in the morning.
Before inauguration of the roundtable, Deora had an hour-long bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart. They discussed the existing cooperation between the two countries and deliberated upon enhancing the mutually beneficial relations.
Deputy Ministers of Oil from Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey and H.S. Puri, Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also spoke during the inaugural session.
Senior government officers and oil company executives from India and CIS countries are attending the two-days roundtable.