PM Modi’s Saudi Arabia visit will boost India’s energy security

Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman has promised an investment of $100 billion during his India visit in February this year.

PM Modi Saudi Arabia Visit
PM Modi will discuss the issue of Saudi investment in India's energy sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the world’s largest oil producer Saudi Arabia will help the country to ensure its energy security. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest crude oil producer with an average production of 10 million barrels a day, almost 10% of the global output. It is also one of the two largest suppliers of crude to India, the other being Iraq. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi will have bilateral meetings with the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. India and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations. Saudi Arabia has been one of the largest and reliable suppliers of India’s energy needs, said Prime Minister Modi in a statement.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit comes on the heels of a surprise coordinated drone attack on the country’s oil facilities that crippled nearly 10% of its oil production facility, raising the concerns of supply disruptions for an energy-starved country like India. However, Saudis were quick to restore the oil production to the pre-attack level in a matter of weeks. Saudi authorities had also assured the Indian government of a steady supply despite the attack on Aramco refinery.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is visiting the country at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud for attending the plenary session of the 3rd Future Investment Initiative Forum (FII) being held in Riyadh.

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Prime Minister Modi is expected to take up several matters of mutual cooperation, including Saudi Arabia’s commitment to invest $100 billion in India over the next several years. In addition to Prime Minister Modi, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani will also address the gathering.

Last month, Mukesh Ambani had announced the decision to sell 20 percent stake of his firm’s oil-to-chemicals business to Saudi national oil company Aramco. Under the deal, Aramco will acquire a 20% stake in RIL’s petrochemical business for $15 billion.

While the Reliance has the world’s largest and most modern integrated refinery complex, Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil producer.

“This signifies perfect synergy between the world’s largest oil producer and the world’s largest integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex,” Mukesh Ambani had said while addressing the 42nd AGM of RIL last month.

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The deal will ensure a steady supply of crude oil to RIL’s Jamnagar refinery which will procure 5 lakh barrels of crude oil a day that will be crucial for securing the country’s energy security as it sets out to achieve the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.

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First published on: 28-10-2019 at 23:15 IST