His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), met, with His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, at an invitation-only energy leaders’ roundtable, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeks to expand partnership and investment opportunities, especially in the energy sector.
The roundtable, held in New Delhi, was also attended by Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; H.E. Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco; H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC; as well as global oil and gas industry leaders, including the CEOs of Total and BP.
At the meeting with Prime Minister Modi, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber conveyed the highest regards and warmest expressions of friendship from the entire UAE Leadership, emphasized the importance of the strategic relationship between the UAE and India and reaffirmed the close and longstanding political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries. H.E. Dr. Al Jaber also expressed the UAE leadership’s wish to strengthen the bilateral relationship further, particularly in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.
Speaking after the roundtable, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said: “The United Arab Emirates and India have long-enjoyed strong bonds of friendship, based on cultural, political and trading links between our two nations. This is especially true in the energy sector, where the relationship has advanced beyond a buyer-seller dynamic to that of strategic energy security cooperation.
“Energy cooperation is an important aspect of the UAE’s relations with India. We are keen to expand and deepen that relationship and believe there are mutually beneficial partnership and co-investment opportunities across our Upstream and Downstream value chains. ADNOC is ready to work with its existing and potential new partners to meet the growing demand for energy and petrochemical products in India.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber also participated in the CERAWeek India Energy Forum, where he delivered a speech highlighting the key role the UAE will play in providing the energy that will drive India’s economic expansion over the next two decades. India’s energy demand is set to grow by 165 percent – more than six times the global average and triple the rate of growth projected throughout non-OECD countries.
“India’s energy security is a top priority for the UAE and ADNOC. As ADNOC continues to explore opportunities internationally, we look forward to deepening our ties with Indian energy partners across the entire crude, refining, petrochemical and derivatives value chain,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said.
“In addition, we are keen to invite Indian companies into our ambitious Downstream investment plans within the UAE. There are multiple opportunities to join us in partnerships that will generate attractive financial returns for strategic partners, while delivering long-lasting economic benefits for the UAE.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added that – while India is clearly in transition from a relatively low energy consumer to fast-becoming one of the world’s biggest – India’s energy transition does not mean a transition away from fossil fuels. On the contrary, he said, oil and gas will continue to be dominant sources of energy in India, a fundamental driver of the Indian economy: Essential to transportation as well as critical to the massive growth in petrochemicals and higher value products in the Indian market.
“India is undergoing a massive energy transition,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said. “It is a transition defined by opportunity, underpinned by partnership and driven by the enormous growth potential of India as an economic powerhouse. We in the oil and gas industry are fortunate to witness this pivotal moment in history, where a brave new energy map is emerging. At ADNOC, we look forward to continuing to play a central role as a trusted partner to India and to contribute to this great nation’s progress and development.
“ADNOC has a strong track record of energy cooperation with India and looks forward to continuing to play a central role as a trusted partner with India, so that together both can optimize the opportunities that lie ahead.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the June agreement with Saudi Aramco, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum – making ADNOC a strategic partner in the Ratnagiri refining and petrochemicals complex – as an example of the growing energy links between India and the UAE. ADNOC will be a key supplier of crude to the 1.2 million barrels per day refinery, which will plug directly into a plant with a capacity of 18 million tons of higher value petrochemical products destined for India’s high growth market.
Other examples of the energy cooperation between India and the UAE that H.E. Dr. Al Jaber highlighted include the supply of 6 million barrels of ADNOC crude to India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fortify India’s energy security as well as the ONGC Videsh-led consortium participation in Abu Dhabi’s Lower Zakum offshore concession, the first time Indian oil and gas companies have been awarded a stake in Abu Dhabi’s Upstream business.
The Indian community in the UAE numbers 3.3 million, making it the largest Indian diaspora in the world, underscoring the closeness of the UAE-India relationship. India is one of the UAE’s top trading partners, recording $53 billion in bilateral trade in 2017. The UAE is the third largest foreign trade partner to India, after China and USA.