India to Invest $350m in Nigerian Oil Blocks


"India has expressed its keenness to expand its investment in Nigeria. . ."

India has expressed its keenness to expand its investment in Nigeria, particularly in the energy sector.

"India will invest $350 million in developing two oil blocks in the West African nation, besides increasing its engagement in the gas sector as well," Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said after meeting his Nigerian counterpart Henry Odein Ajumogobia at Abuja on Monday.

"India is looking forward to partnering Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the Indian oil and gas conglomerate—ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd.—for the establishment of a greenfield petroleum refining plant," Mr. Deora said.

India is Nigeria's second-largest crude oil buyer. Out of the 116 million tons of crude oil consumed annually, about 11 to 18 million tons, representing 22%–25% of its total yearly imports, are sourced from Nigeria, which is Africa's largest energy producer.

The Minister pointed out that Nigeria, also a member of 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was India's largest trading partner in Africa in the area of oil and gas sector. GAIL India was interested in setting up of petrochemical plants, LPG plants and LPG transportation pipelines, as Nigeria was embarking on its development of natural gas resources which are now underutilized, he said.

GAIL along with its consortium members has been shortlisted as one of the 15 companies for having qualified in the participation of an ambitious $30 billion National Gas Master Development Plan and its implementation in Nigeria.

Similarly, Indian Oil Corporation has offered to assist in the refinery upgradation, improving operations of refineries by imparting training to the technical personnel and providing consultancy, besides setting up LNG liquefaction plants, Mr. Deora added.

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