India invites foreign firms for petroleum reserves

16 November 2020

India is inviting foreign energy companies to invest in its projects to expand its strategic petroleum reserve capabilities, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. 

“I invite global energy players to come and invest in this project,” Pradhan said, as carried by Reuters, at the virtual ADIPEC industry conference, referring to India’s ongoing construction of additional commercial and strategic petroleum storage.

Earlier this year, India used the ultra-low crude oil prices to top its strategic petroleum reserves with oil at $19 a barrel, saving nearly USD 700M in the process, India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in September.

“Taking advantage of the low crude oil prices in the international market, India purchased 16.71 million barrels (mbbl) of crude in April-May, 2020, and filled all the three Strategic Petroleum Reserves created at Vishakhapatnam, Mangalore, and Padur,” Pradhan said.

The average cost at which India bought the crude oil in April and May was $19 per barrel, compared to $60 a barrel oil price in January 2020. Thanks to the cheapest oil in years at the start of the second quarter, India saved USD 685.11M on its crude oil import bill, the ministry said.

India, which is expected to be the key energy growth driver in the world and the main source of oil demand growth in the coming decades, is now looking to expand its petroleum reserves capacity as it looks to boost its energy security and forge closer commercial ties with major energy companies.