India is discussing setting up refineries and LNG plants in Indonesia, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today. In an attempt to increase its presence in its eastern neighbourhood, India is selling diesel to Bangladesh via rail. "Recently, we have dispatched the first consignment of diesel to Myanmar," he said at India-ASEAN Partnership@25 conference here. "We are currently in consultation with Indonesia for partnering in the refining and LNG sector."
He, however, did not give any details. Stating that India's presence in the ASEAN region has been historic, he said one of the country's oldest overseas oil and gas fields was acquired in 1988 in Vietnam. "We also have oil and gas assets and equity in a gas pipeline in Myanmar. Today, we have a growing engagement with ASEAN region in the hydrocarbon sector," he said. ASEAN region, he said, is also a source of crude oil and LNG to meet India's hydrocarbon requirement. Last year, India imported 6 million tonnes of crude oil from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, accounting for 2.8 percent of the total crude oil imports, which is an increase of 12 percent from the year before.
It also imported 1.45 million tonnes of LNG mainly from Singapore and Malaysia accounting for 7 percent of the total LNG imported. India also imported one million tonnes of petroleum products and some quantities of LPG from the region, he said. Pradhan said there is a healthy collaboration between oil majors Indian Oil Corporation and Petronas of Malaysia. The two companies, he said, are working in India and third country. The Malaysian national oil company is a reliable partner in technology. "Our oil marketing companies are also in the process of increasing their foot prints in the retail marketing segment in the ASEAN countries," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, has invited heads of ASEAN countries next month. "It is our tradition that we call foreign dignitaries on the occasion of our Republic Day. First time since independence heads of ten countries would be visiting the country," he said. India and ASEAN together represent one-fourth of world's total population. "It is our endeavour to work together. We have a shared culture and long-standing economic ties. If you work together it will have a great impact on the world's economy," he said. ASEAN is India's 4th largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2 percent of its total trade. Investment flows are also substantial both ways, with ASEAN accounting for about 12.5 percent of investment flows into India since 2000.