New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Riyadh, said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia will invest in downstream oil and gas projects in India as part of a strategic partnership between the two countries. The move is expected to help the Gulf country and the world's top oil exporter find a stable and growing market for its crude. Modi is visiting Saudi Arabia to attend an investor summit and is expected to meet King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman later on Tuesday.
"From a purely buyer-seller relationship, we are now moving toward a closer strategic partnership that will include Saudi investments in downstream oil and gas projects," Modi said in an interview to Arab News, said an official statement released by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The announcement assumes significance as it comes at a time when the government is looking to sell its entire 53.29 percent stake in BPCL at an estimated price of $10 billion. Saudi Aramco, along with UAE's ADNOC, has already signed a preliminary deal with public sector undertakings (PSUs) for a 50 percent stake in a planned 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) mega refinery on the country's west coast. Aramco is also eyeing a 20 percent stake in Reliance Industries' petrochemical and refining business in a deal that is being touted to be India's biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) deal. During Modi's visit, a number of energy deals are expected to be signed between India and Saudi Arabia, including the latter's participation in India's strategic petroleum reserve.
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