India is taking advantage of crashing oil prices to try to lock in future sources of supply from Africa, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi established a $10 billion line of credit for African nations last year.
“We want Indian oil companies to take advantage of the credit line extended for five years and strike deals,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference last week. “We should take advantage of sliding oil prices and take an active role in the development of African nations.”
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He added that African nations had “asked us to invest in developing their infrastructure, upgrading their refineries, and to be a partner in development of their market, mainly refined products.”
India is the world’s third-largest oil importer, Reuters reports. Its largest refiner, India Oil Corporation, has already doubled imports from Nigeria to 60,000 barrels per day for 2016-17.
“India has a strategic need for energy security, and this is something that Africa can use,” said IHS Energy Vice President Ron Kapavik. “India can be a natural market for African hydrocarbon resources.”