Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, MoS(I/C) Petroleum and Natural Gas made a one-day official visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. During his visit, he held meetings with Vice Minister for Petroleum HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Health Minister & Chairman of Aramco Mr. Khalid Al Falih. He also visited the headquarters of SABIC (2nd largest petrochemical company of the World).
The visit came close on heels of the successful visit of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia on April 2-3, 2016. During the visit of the Prime Minister, ways to enhancing cooperation in oil and gas sector was one of the key issues discussed with the Saudi leadership. The visit by Shri Pradhan was a follow up to take forward the discussions regarding various investment proposals in areas like oil, gas, petrochemicals, exploration and production, etc. Shri Pradhan shared details of various investment opportunities in India in downstream and upstream sectors. He also elaborated on the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) and Discovered Small Fields policy and invited the Saudi side to invest in Indian upstream sector. The Saudi side also provided details of investment opportunities for Indian companies in their country. Both sides agreed to conclude discussions regarding concrete investment proposals in a time-bound manner. They also agreed to appoint high level negotiation teams for various projects which would be periodically reviewed at Minister level. Shri Pradhan was accompanied by Ambassador of India, CEOs of ONGC Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
Saudi Arabia has been the largest supplier of crude oil to India. Saudi Arabia supplied about 40 MMT of crude to India during 2015-16, accounting for about 20% of total crude imports. India also imported about 3 MMT of LPG which is around 28% of our total LPG imports.