Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia will invest in downstream oil and gas projects in India as part of a strategic partnership between the two countries, a move that would also help the world’s top oil exporter find a stable outlet for its crude.
“From a purely buyer-seller relationship, we are now moving towards a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects,” Modi said in an interview with the newspaper Arab News, according to a statement released by his office.
Saudi Aramco – along with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, of the United Arab Emirates – has signed a preliminary deal with Indian state-run companies for a 50 percent stake in a planned 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) mega refinery on India’s west coast.
The Indian government also plans to sell its entire 53.29 percent stake in state-run refinery Bharat Petroleum Corp, at an estimated price of $10bn.
Saudi Aramco is also eyeing a 20 percent stake in the petrochemical and refining business of Reliance Industries Limited in a multibillion-dollar deal.
During Modi’s visit, India will sign energy deals with Saudi Arabia including its plan to participate in India’s strategic petroleum reserve.