Indian Firms, Rosneft Sign Energy Deals

Indian Firms, Rosneft Sign Energy DealsIndian Firms, Rosneft Sign Energy Deals

Indian state companies signed energy deals worth billions of dollars with Russia’s Rosneft on Wednesday to buy into its most promising assets in Siberia, stepping up a drive to cut New Delhi’s dependence on imports.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wants to cut India’s oil imports by 10% in six years, is steering efforts to buy foreign energy assets, taking advantage of low global oil prices and a slowdown in China’s overseas acquisitions, Reuters reported.

Under the deals signed with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, the Indian companies will raise their stake in the Vankor oilfield to almost 50% and buy about 30% of the Taas-Yuriakh field.

The deals will help Rosneft, the world’s biggest listed oil producer by output, to pay off debts incurred in its $55 billion acquisition of TNK-BP in 2013.

Russia is keen to develop and deepen its Soviet-era economic ties with India and sell oil to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies at a time its own economy is hit by western sanctions and a plunge in global oil prices.

Modi had pitched to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the granting of stakes to Indian oil firms during his visit to Moscow in December. The deals will help India secure Russian oil output, while Rosneft will gain access to the Indian market, Sechin told reporters in New Delhi.