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India looking to raise oil imports from Russia: Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Mumbai: India on Tuesday signed a non-binding cooperation agreement with Russia that reiterated interest of Indian firms in taking stake in oilfields in Far East region of the former Soviet Republic.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan discussed investment opportunities when he met Igor Sechin, chief executive of Russian oil major Rosneft, here on Tuesday.

"We discussed elaborately for raising oil imports from Russia," he told reporters after the meeting. During the talks, the two sides reviewed existing stake of Indian firms in Russian oilfields such as Sakhalin-1, Taas-Yuryakh and Vankor fields.

"In the presence of Minister Pradhan, the Indian consortium of four oil and gas PSUs (Bharat PetroResources Ltd, Indian Oil Corp, ONGC Videsh Ltd and Oil India Ltd) and Rosneft exchanged a non-binding cooperation agreement, reiterating their interest in participation of the Indian companies in the Eastern Cluster project of Russia," an official statement said.

A separate statement issued by Rosneft said the two sides "reiterated their interest in a potential participation of the Indian partners in the Vostok oil project."

Both the Eastern Cluster and Vostok project refer to the cluster of oilfields near the Vankor project in Arctic/Far East Russia. Rosneft said the Vostok project will enable development of the unique resource potential of the Arctic Cluster.

"It is planned that the project will incorporate the assets of Vankor group of fields (including Vankor, Suzun, Tagul and Lodochnoe fields), Payakha group of fields, West-Irkinskiy license area as well as a number of other high-potential exploration projects in Krasnoyarsk province," it said.