Vierna is quoted in the newspaper as saying his company was evaluating options for building a refinery to process Venezuelan crude bought by India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

 

"The final decision would rest on the government to government negotiations," he said.

 

Increase in demand

 

Saudi Arabia has recently increased its crude supply to India, amid rising demand from the Asian nation and will partner Indian Oil Corp's Paradip in building the refineries.

 

Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister said while speaking at the Petrotech 2007 conference: “While two decades ago, we exported only a tiny amount of crude to India, today we are supplying about 500,000 barrels per day to this growing market."

 

Saudi Arabia is looking to expand its ability to deliver energy to world markets, and especially to the growing Asian markets, he said.

 

"Our first priority is a massive investment program to increase our sustainable production capacity to 12.5 million bpd by 2009."

 

Indian Oil is building a 300,000 barrel per day refinery and petrochemicals complex in the coastal town of Paradip in eastern India at a cost of 11 billion rupees $249 million.