23 June 2018, New Delhi – United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan will undertake first ever six-city India visit next week aiming at creating an energy bridge between Delhi-Abu Dhabi-Riyadh amid impending sanctions on Iran and volatility in global oil prices that has impacted consumers in South Asia’s biggest country.
During Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit — which is a follow up of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s February visit to the Gulf state — India and UAE would create tri-lateral cooperation with Saudi Arabia to secure Delhi’s energy interests that could help to check rising oil prices. EThas learnt that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company(ADNOC) for Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited on June 25.
This is the first such trilateral venture for India involving two oil-rich Gulf countries.
India and UAE energy partnership has diversified from buyer-seller partnership to a more comprehensive one. UAE was the first country to supply oil to India’s strategic oil reserve facility in Mangalore and India is among the few non-Western nations that has been allowed stake in oil field in Abu Dhabi.
During Modi’s trip to Abu Dhabi this February, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC)-led consortium signed a 10% offshore concession agreement, giving Indian companies an opportunity to develop Abu Dhabi’s lucrative offshore oilfields which produce about 1.4 million barrels of oil per day. The consortium, led by India’s ONGC Videsh, contributed a participation fee of $600 million to enter the Lower Zakum concession, which will be operated by the ADNOC Offshore, a subsidiary of ADNOC, on behalf of all concession partners.
This is the first time that an Indian company will be involved in the development of oilfields in Abu Dhabi. About 8% of India’s oil needs are supplied by the UAE.
During Modi’s trip, ADNOC and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) also exchanged agreements to implement a strategic crude oil storage facility in Mangalore. The partnership with ISPRL, an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for strategic needs, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities.