A new chapter of Indo-Russian partnership has begun with the inauguration of India’s Energy Office in Russia on Tuesday, 2nd March 2021 with a goal to push an already burgeoning energy partnership between the two strategic partners. The IEO will cover five top Indian entities — Oil India Limited, ONGC Videsh Limited, GAIL (India) Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, and Engineers India Limited. The announcement to set up IEC was made by the Foreign Secretary during his recent trip to Moscow.
Commenting on the initiative, Tribhuvan Darbari, MD & CEO Texmaco Defence, Chief Executive Texmaco Rail and Engineering, said that Russia and India have a long history of cooperation in the energy sector, and the prospects for the development of the energy dialogue are as promising now as they were during the period of friendship between the Soviet Union and India. Mr. Tribhuvan Darbari further said that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble President of Russian Federation Mr. Putin, the Russia–India energy partnership has been enjoying a renaissance.
Besides, defence, space and nuclear energy, oil & gas is a key pillar of Indo-Russian strategic partnership. To date, Indian oil and gas companies have acquired stakes in 5 Russian companies/projects at a value of about $15 bn. India wants to invest in the energy assets in the Russian Far-East besides the Arctic under the Russian jurisdiction.
Tribhuvan Darbari has been a member of different inter-governmental Russian-Indian commissions and has first-hand experience in Natural Gas, Chemicals and the Energy sector. During the last two decades, Tribhuvan Darbari has contributed significantly as an active member of various important and strategic National / International Government and Institutional Committees, cutting across multiple sectors and geographies.
Tribhuvan Darbari has been recently appointed as a member of the Business Club under the aegis of the Trade Representation of Russia in India, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Russia.
India can make a significant contribution to diversifying the geographical coverage of Russian energy supplies says Tribhuvan Darbari
According to Tribhuvan Darbari, India has the potential to make a significant contribution to diversifying the geographical coverage of Russian energy supplies. He said that though in the 25-plus-year history of cooperation between India and the Russian Federation, energy has evolved from an all but forgotten carryover of the Soviet past into the main driver of bilateral economic ties, still both the countries need to develop innovative and novel approaches in the energy sector.
Talking about the facts related to cooperation in the energy sector between both the nations, Mr. TS Darbari said, “At present India Russia cooperation in energy sector is centered on nuclear energy and oil investments. India’s cumulative oil and gas investment in Russia exceeds $15 billion and the most oil India annually extracts from its oil and gas investments abroad is from Russia. With Rosneft and its partners purchasing Essar Oil /Nayara Energy, for $12.9 billion in 2017, Russian investments in India exceed $18 billion. Nayara Energy operates India’s second-largest single-site oil refinery at Vadinar and is investing $850 million on a new petrochemicals plant nearby. Meanwhile, GAZPROM commenced LNG deliveries to GAIL in mid-2018 that are contracted to continue for another two decades, with an estimated cumulative value of $25 billion. Moreover, projects like the Kudankulam NPP, the largest nuclear power station in India, situated in Kudankulam, construction of which began on 31st March 2002 and Sakhalin-1 have made it possible to take these relations to the level of strategic partnership and this particular initiative is a major boost in this direction.
Future of Energy Cooperation Between India and Russia According to Tribhuvan Darbari
Let’s first have a glimpse of the future of energy production and consumption on a global basis, as presented in the report named –The World Energy Outlook by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Tribhuvan Darbari says that there are immense opportunities to increase the cooperation in the energy sector between India and Russia. He says so on the basis of the following facts:
TS Darbari mentioned that on August 08, 2018, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant made a presentation at a review meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the meeting was aimed at reviewing the progress of key infrastructure sectors like power, renewable energy, petroleum and natural gas, coal and mining. During the meeting, the CEO said that the installed power generation capacity in India increased to 344 GigaWatts (GW) and its energy deficit stood at over 4 percent in 2014, which has been declined to less than one percent in 2018. However, India’s developmental strategy indicates that there would be a huge energy deficit. So, India’s energy sector is set for a mammoth change with the recent developmental ambitions of the Government of India. The government aimed to reach 175 GW of installed capacity of renewable energy by 2022, 24 X7 Power for all Indians by 2022, housing for all by 2022, 100 smart cities mission.
These indicators say that India is envisaged to play a key role in the global energy scenario amidst the present trends in the favour of energy buyers rather than suppliers which are likely to continue in the medium term. Further, India is likely to account for a 25 percent of rise in global energy demand by 2040.
In conclusion, Tribhuvan Darbari said that India and Russia are set to play a crucial role in the contemporary world since the interests of both the nations are the same and the mutual understanding and cooperation between India and Russia have been evolving at pace, looking for new windows of opportunities. He further added that we still need to focus on trade since it is very minimal between India and Russia. We can cement it in various sectors i.e., human resources, technology sharing, nuclear technology cooperation, increasing tourism, people-to-people contact, frequent business summit, etc. The energy relationship should be more diversified by bringing, Venezuela, Vietnam and invest in the Arctic region jointly by sharing modern technology.
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