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India seeks higher crude oil imports from Nigeria

ndia has sought import of higher quantities of crude oil from Nigeria in the coming years. S Jaipal Reddy, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas indicated this at a recent meeting with Henry Odien Ajumogobia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ajumogobia was in Delhi in connection with Indo-Nigeria Joint Commission meeting as its co-Chairman.

In view of the significant expansion in India's refining capacity, Reddy indicated that the annual requirement of Nigerian crude oil would be around 18 million tonnes per annum from 2012-13 onwards. The Minister referred to the fact that India imported 13.2 million tonnes of crude oil from Nigeria in 2009-10.

Regarding LNG, Minister said that India is interested in tying up LNG imports from Nigeria immediately, as the country's requirement of LNG is projected to go up by 12 to 15 million tonnes per annum in the foreseeable future.

The Nigerian Foreign Minister indicated that the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) was considering to dilute a part of its stake, and GAIL is being considered as one of the parties. GAIL (India) Ltd. is pursuing participation in the Nigerian Gas Master Plan Project (NGMP) and has submitted a proposal along with other international consortium members.

GAIL has also expressed interest in participation in petrochemical projects and city gas distribution projects in Nigeria. GAIL is very keen to take equity in the upcoming Brass LNG and OK LNG Projects, to ensure long-term sourcing of LNG from Nigeria.

The Minister also offered technical assistance from India's oil PSUs to Nigerian personnel in areas related to refining, pipelines, marketing, research & development.
He also stated that to the steady progress was being made by the OVL Mittal Energy Ltd. (OMEL) consortium in OPL 279 and 285, where OMEL is carrying out the exploratory drilling and carrying out a detailed feasibility study for a downstream refinery. Referring to India's investments in blocks OPL 321 and 323 in the upstream sector, Minister called for an early resolution of the litigation in Nigeria.
Jaipal Reddy also met Brad Wall, Premier of the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. They discussed the possibilities of Indian companies investing in the upstream sector for exploration and exploitation of non-conventional hydrocarbons such as oil sands, shale oil, tight oil, etc.

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