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India looks for more engagement with all nations in energy sector, including Russia: Union Minister

Bengaluru: Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said India looks forward to more comprehensive and intensified engagement with all countries in the energy sector, including Russian Federation.

He said, along with other countries, Russia has now become a prominent supplier of oil to India.

“Our cooperation with the Russian Federation on energy is very widespread. If I have not mistaken, the Russian investment in the Indian sector is about USD 13 billion, while our companies have invested about USD 16 billion in Russia,” Puri told reporters here.

He was responding to a question on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin today reviewing several aspects of the bilateral relationship, including energy cooperation.

Speaking to reporters here at the at the curtain raiser event of India Energy Week 2023, he said India had several years ago purchased an offshore asset in Sakhalin (Russian island) worth about USD 300 million. It was an OVL (ONGC Videsh Ltd) purchase, which has done very well and has resumed production, he said.

“We used to buy very limited quantities of oil from Russia until March 31, 2022, which was 0.2 per cent. Now, Russia has become a prominent supplier along with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait. So the energy cooperation with Russia is already there,” he said.

“I look forward to more comprehensive and intensified engagement with all countries in the energy sector, including Russian Federation,” he added.

The Union minister, however, clarified that he was not fully aware of the conversation between leaders of the two countries, as he was travelling at the time.

Asked about India’s plans to pitch for a global alliance on biofuels on the lines of the International Solar Alliance, at the upcoming G20 meeting, Puri said he is of the idea that well before the India Energy Week in February, the first text will be available with other members of the G20.

“This is an idea which Brazilians have been talking about for some time and after that the Americans. We have the confidence now being one among the largest ethanol producers. We are already working on a text, we will exercise our prerogative as the host country and place it before the other participants,” he said.

Highlighting that India is a critical driver of energy demand and is already a large consumer with one of the largest refining capacity, the minister said, India is going to account for nearly 25 per cent of the increase in demand between 2020-2040.

India Energy Week 2023 is being organised during India’s G20 presidency, under the tagline “Growth, Collaboration, Transition” from February 6-8, 2023 in Bengaluru. The India Energy Week 2023 is expected to feature more than 30 energy ministers, 50 CEOs and 10,000-plus delegates.

It will provide a unique opportunity to showcase India as both an engine of global economic growth and a driver for global consumption, supported by a conducive and investment-friendly environment, and a skilled workforce.

During the IEW, through 19 strategic conference sessions, the comprehensive gamut of issues covering the entire energy sector would be discussed and deliberated by panels of energy ministers from various countries, CEOs/leaders of energy majors, etc.

The Strategic Conference of IEW 2023 covers themes such as energy security, pathways for decarbonisation, resilient energy supply chains, emerging fuels such as biofuel and hydrogen, investments in upstream and midstream sector.

Besides the Strategic Conference, IEW 2023 will also have Technical and Commercial conference sessions, wherein critical aspects of prevailing and prospective energy market scenarios will be deliberated upon.

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