Russia to open up its oil and gas sector to India

Russia’s decision to open up its oil and gas sector to Indian companies will significantly boost bilateral trade. The two nations are negotiating some more acquisitions and projects in the hydrocarbons sector. The deals sealed in the oil sector include ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) buying a 15 per cent stake in Russia’s Vankorneft oilfield for close to $1.3 billion. Vankorneft is Russia’s second biggest oilfield and is owned by oil company Rosneft. India, considered one of the world’s fastest growing energy markets, has been eyeing greater access to major gas and oil exploration projects in Russia and Central Asian countries. OVL is exploring more acquisitions in Russian oilfields besides working on some other proposals. Besides the deal by OVL to pick up 15 per cent stake in the Vankorneft oilfield owned by Rosneft, OIL and IOC signed a non-binding agreement with the Russian oil company setting a time frame for finalising a pact to pick up stakes in the Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha oilfield, which is another major oilfield in Siberia.