Oil major Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) may ship petrol and diesel to Bangladesh from its newly commissioned crude oil refinery at Paradeep, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said here. “We had discussions on the possibility of shipping petrol and diesel to Bangladesh from IOCL refinery at Paradeep. The quantum would depend on the requirement of Bangladesh. The timeline has not been decided as we had only preliminary talks with the Bangladesh delegation,’’ Pradhan said.
The 15 million ton IOCL refinery at Paradeep is designed predominantly for the domestic market but is also capable of exports. The oil minister had discussions with the visiting delegation from Bangladesh led by Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy advisor to Bangladesh prime minister, centred on energy cooperation between the two nations. Initially, the Numaligarh refinery in Assam, owned byBharat Petroleum and Oil India Ltd, would export diesel to Bangladesh via rail network. Later, a 200-km pipeline would be built connecting Numaligarh with north Bangladesh for transporting diesel, the minister informed.
Pradhan said ONGC Videsh has bagged two oil exploration blocks in Bangladesh on which exploration work was likely to commence in October this year. He stressed on deepening commercial ties between the two countries via the sea route by connecting the ports of Chennai and Paradeep with Chittagong and Mangla ports in Bangladesh. “We have been trying to give the relationship between the two countries a concrete shape. The minister (Pradhan) talked on some concrete areas of cooperation. We also talked about other opportunities that are emerging,” said Chowdhury.
Pradhan also had bilateral talks on energy cooperation with Anoma Gamage, deputy minister for petroleum resources development, Sri Lanka. “We have very old commercial and cultural ties with Sri Lanka. Lanka IOCL, a subsidiary of IOCL is already functioning in that country. Sri Lanka aspires to be a big commercial hub like Dubai and Singapore and we will extend all possible cooperation,” Pradhan said.