India Seeks Bigger Bite in Africa’s Hydrocarbons Sector

The 4th India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference being organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, to advance discussions on energy co-operation between 24 African nations and India will today (Thursday) open its doors in New Delhi, India.

The conference has the objective to foster bilateral trade relations in the hydrocarbons sector, understand policy and regulatory frameworks and offer opportunities for strategic partnerships in upstream and downstream sectors of the two regions as well as build on successful accomplishment of the first three conferences held in 2007, 2009, and 2011 respectively.

This year’s conference will also give special focus on the following areas: Capabilities of India and Africa in the hydrocarbons sector, Opportunities for boosting India-Africa trade in oil and gas, Prospects of Indian investment in Africa’s upstream and downstream sectors and Policy and regulatory frameworks of Africa and India.

Other special focus areas include possibility of cooperation in capacity building in Africa through human resource development, transfer of technology, research and development, etc.

“I am sure this conference will go a long way towards realizing the immense potential that exists for cooperation between India and Africa in the hydrocarbons sector,” Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.

India a long term investor in Africa’s oil and gas assets and in 2015 saw the subcontinent import 26 percent of its oil from Africa a year that also that Nigeria overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s number one source for crude imports.

Indian companies are currently carrying out oil and gas exploration and production in the East African with a number currently involved in Mozambique, South Sudan as well as in other states in various regions including: Egypt, Gabon and Libya.

Elsewhere in West Africa an Indian engineering company won the largest consultancy contract for an oil refinery in Nigeria a project entails Project Management Consultancy (PMC) and Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) for a 20 MMTPA oil refinery.

Another Indian company is building gas compression stations for Algerian NOC, Sonatrach for their pipelines.

“The 4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference aims to explore opportunities, bridge boundaries and boost bilateral trade between India and Africa. Though there are heaps of challenges like the climate concern, sustainable development, etc. I am confident that the hydrocarbon industry will overcome these and grow to fulfil the energy requirements of the nation,” Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Participating countries in the conference from Africa include: Tunisia, Chad, Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Liberia, Cameroun, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Morocco, Kenya, Egypt, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Gabon, Congo, South Sudan and Sudan.

Participating companies include: ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Oil India Ltd, Engineers India, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Chennai Petroleum Corporation, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals, Numaligarh Refineries, GAIL India and Balmer Lawrie.

India currently exports 76 per cent of its crude oil needs and 37 per cent of its gas requirements a figure estimated to increase in the coming years. In 2014 India imported 32mt of crude from Africa.

Two African states Nigeria and Angola are also among India’s top sources for gas imports the rest being Australia and Qatar.

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