India holds bilateral talks with Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Canada

New Delhi, Nov.2 (ANI): India here on Wednesday held bilateral discussions with delegations of Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Canada, on the occasion of Petrotech 2010, and sought an increased cooperation in Hydro Carbon Sector.

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Murli Deora, led the Indian delegation comprising Petroleum Secretary S. Sundareshan, CEOs of Oil Public Sector Units (PSUs) and other senior officers of Ministry and PSUs in the talks.

While holding talks with Nigeria, Dr. Emanuel O Egbogah, Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on Petroleum Matters, India conveyed its keen desire to source more Nigerian crude oil.

In response to the Indian desire, Dr. Emanuel said that the Indian side should send a formal proposal for Government to Government agreement in this regard.

Presently, India imports about 13 MMT crude oil from Nigeria annually.

Nigeria plans to increase its crude oil production to 4 million barrels per day from 2.7 million barrels per day by 2012.

The two leaders also reviewed progress in the two exploration blocks where OVL has participating interests. It was noted with satisfaction that Minimum Work Programme will be completed by January 2011.

India also proposed securing LNG from Nigeria. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and Petronet LNG LTd.(PLL) will look at various investment opportunities in the area.

India expressed keen desire at the possibility of participating in the next round of bidding for exploration blocks in Nigeria, expected to be launched in the middle of next year as also in the existing oil assets.

While holding talks with Sri Lankan Minister for Petroleum and Industries Susil Premajayantha, the two Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress in cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.

The Sri Lankan Minister stated that the presence of Lanka IOC a subsidiary of IOC which operates marketing infrastructure in Sri Lanka including 152 retail outlets could be strengthened.

He added that the decision on petrol and diesel price revision would be taken after presentation of Budget on 22nd November. He expects major tax reforms in the Budget which would have bearing on the pricing.

He also said that Sri Lanka is calling for expression of interest to revamp up its 2 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) refinery to 4 MMTPA in which IOC could also participate.

The two sides agreed to share data and information on the geological basins on the two sides of the border, being similar in nature. This will help greater cooperation in the exploration of hydrocarbons.

Meanwhile, a bilateral meeting was also held with the Canadian delegation led by Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta.

The two sides discussed possibility of cooperation in exploration of shale gas, oil sands etc. Indian side invited investment by Canadian oil firms in the ninth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-IX).

ONGC will be separately meeting the Canandian delegation tomorrow to further discuss the specific areas of cooperation.

The Canadian side in- turn invited Indian companies to invest in the Canadian hydrocarbon potential areas like oil sands. (ANI)

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