Pradhan scouts for Mexico oil; ONGC to open office there
India is looking at raising crude oil import from Mexico as it looks to broaden its import basket and cut reliance on volatile Middle-East. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on his maiden visit to Mexico sought deeper collaboration with the Latin American nation that is opening up to foreign companies.
As part of strengthening bilateral ties through enhanced cooperation in the energy sector, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned explorer ONGC, has decided to open a dedicated office in the Latin American nation, an official statement said here. Pradhan on a two-day official visit to Mexico held talks with his counterpart, Minister of Energy of Mexico Pedro Joaquin Caldwell. He also met Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal and CEO of national oil company of Mexico PEMEX, EmilioLozoya Austin.
“India is trying to diversify its import sources of energy and more than 20 per cent of crude import of India is presently sourced from Latin America. Mexico figures high on the priority of India to enhance bilateral energy ties,” Pradhan said during his meeting. Presently, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Reliance Industries and Essar Oil <g data-gr-id="34">buy</g> about 6 million tons of crude oil annually from Mexico. India imports 78 per cent of its crude oil needs, close to 60 <g data-gr-id="35">per cent</g> of which come from Middle-East Asia. Mexico last year opened up the energy sector for private and foreign participation. “The energy reforms in Mexico provides a window to transform the relationship from <g data-gr-id="37">buyer</g>?seller relationship to that of an energy partnership,” the statement said. During the meetings, Pradhan stressed Indian companies are keen to participate in the exploration and production activities in Mexico including in <g data-gr-id="36">deep water</g> and unconventional resources.
He also highlighted the fact that India has emerged as a modern refining hub with <g data-gr-id="30">expertise</g> to develop complex refineries at most cost effective manner. OVL signed <g data-gr-id="28">an MoU</g> with PEMEX for cooperation in <g data-gr-id="29">upstream</g> sector. The Mexican Energy Minister and CEO, PEMEX invited Indian investment in all streams of <g data-gr-id="60">hydrocarbon</g> sector, the statement said.