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India to sign MoU to invest in Nigeria’s oil, gas sector

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) India and Nigeria are in talks on signing an agreement in December by which India will invest in refineries, as well as in exploration and production of oil and gas in the African country, the Indian Petroleum Ministry said on Monday.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan held talks here on Monday with Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who is on a three-day official visit to India.

Both ministers agreed "to work on a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate investments by India in the Nigerian oil and gas sector and include areas such as term contract, participation of Indian companies in the refining sector, oil and gas marketing sector, upstream sector, development of gas infrastructure and training of oil and gas personnel in Nigeria," a statement said.

"The Nigerian Minister requested a potential investment by India of $15 billion, if the terms can be agreed to, in Nigeria, as upfront payment for crude purchase," it said.

The amount is to be repaid through crude oil sales to India over some years and in consideration for collaborating in refining sector, exploration and production activities.

"Both agreed to strengthen the existing cooperation in oil and gas sector, and in particular to explore investment opportunities for Indian public and private sector companies in Nigeria," the statement added.

According to the ministry, Pradhan thanked Kachikwu for allocating term contracts to Indian public sector oil companies and requested Nigeria to extend similar long-term contracts to them.

In 2015-16, India imported nearly 23.7 million tons of crude (nearly 12 per cent of India’s overall imports) and over 2 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Nigeria, the statement said.

The MoU is expected to be signed in December during the PETROTECH-2016 international conference here, it added.

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