India is set to expand its Strategic Petroleum Reserve ten-fold as part of a step-by-step process of becoming a full member of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA requires member countries to maintain national strategic oil reserves of at least 90 days requirement. India’s strategic oil reserves currently account for only 9.5 days of its needs. Hence a steady, but gradual raise in the level of reserves.
Oil from Abu Dhabi produced by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) now accounts for the main foreign component of India’s reserves in Mangalore. An agreement to store Abu Dhabi oil in India was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in February 2018.
Steps to raise the level of India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve are a sequel to a meeting this week between India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri and the IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol. During their discussions, the Executive Director invited India to become a full member of the IEA.
The rationale for India’s membership of IEA is that it is the world’s third-largest consumer of energy. According to the IEA, India’s oil demand would double in the next two decades. This entails deepening strategic energy ties between India and Gulf countries, which are the main source of India’s oil and gas requirements.
“As a natural corollary to the India-IEA Strategic Partnership, Dr Birol invited India to deepen its cooperation with the IEA by becoming a full member,” the Indian Minister said after his talks.
India has been an “Association Country” of the IEA since 2017 and signed a “Framework for Strategic Partnership” with the IEA in January.
Source: Emirates News Agency