India, Saudi Arabia seek energy cooperation

Leaders of Saudi Arabia and India say they want to extend their countries’ oil-trading relationship into joint investment in exploration and petrochemicals.

Energy was part of a joint statement on business and strategic cooperation issued Apr. 3 after a 2-day official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Riyadh at the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Said Arabia is the largest supplier of crude oil to India, where oil demand grew by 5.7% last year and is expected by the International Energy Agency to increase 6.3% this year.

According to some observers, India might replace China as the world’s center of oil-demand growth (OGJ Online, Mar. 7, 2016).

India’s oil consumption in January averaged about 4.25 million b/d, up 12% from a year earlier, according to IEA. The country produces about 870,000 b/d of crude.

Salman and Modi agreed “to transform the buyer-seller relationship in the energy sector to one of deeper partnership focusing on investment and joint ventures in petrochemical complexes and cooperation in joint exploration in India, Saudi Arabia, and in third countries,” according to the statement.

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