India, Qatar to jointly explore energy assets

Jun 08, 2016 12:00 AM

The Indian government has said it has entered into an agreement with Qatar for joint exploration of new oil and gas fields, as well development of discovered assets in the energy-rich Gulf nation.

India has also invited Qatar to invest in the Asian giant's exploration and production sector by bidding for blocks under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy and to take part in the disinvestment in Indian public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Besides, the two nations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Qatar Investment Authority to invest about $6bn in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

India ‘highlighted the interest of its energy companies to pursue opportunities of mutual interest in Qatar, with Qatar Petroleum and other companies, in order to jointly explore new fields as well development of discovered oil and gas assets and exploit the existing resources of natural gas and crude oil in Qatar’, a joint statement said after official talks between the two countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held wide-ranging talks with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Qatari leaders in Doha.

Qatar is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to India.

India invited Qatar to participate in the second phase of the strategic reserves storage facility being created in the South Asian nation, the statement said.

Besides, the leaders deliberated upon the need for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the financial services sector, including banking, insurance and capital markets.

The two sides also agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy, covering the areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development and through promotion of joint ventures in petrochemical complexes and cooperation in joint exploration in India and other countries, the statement said.

Qatar is an important trading partner for India in the Gulf region with bilateral trade in 2014-15 standing at $15.67bn. It is also one of India's key sources of crude oil.

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