Saudi Arabia to invest in India's downstream oil and gas projects

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the plans while at an investor summit in Riyadh.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left, with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) is in Riyadh, where he will sign energy deals with the kingdom including a plan for Saudi Arabia to participate in India’s strategic petroleum reserve [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left, with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) is in Riyadh, where he will sign energy deals with the kingdom including a plan for Saudi Arabia to participate in India’s strategic petroleum reserve [File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

    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.

    Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Riyadh to participate in an investor summit, will meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later on Tuesday.

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    "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.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency