India, Saudi Arabia in energy deal

NEW DELHI ( Dow Jones) - India and Saudi Arabia Friday agreed to forge a strategic energy partnership based on complimentality and interdependence.

The agreement was signed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Saudi King Abdullah .

The agreement envisages a reliable, stable and increased volume of crude oil supplies to India through long-term contracts. In addition there will be joint ventures both in the private and public sectors in the upstream and downstream oil and natural gas sectors in India and Saudi Arabia as well as in other countries.

There will also be Saudi investments in oil refining and marketing and storage in India subject to commercial viability.

The agreement also said there will be India-Saudi joint ventures for gas-based fertilizer plants in Saudi Arabia .

The agreement was singed shortly before the Saudi monarch left New Delhi after a four-day state visit to India .

India imports nearly a quarter of its crude imports from Saudi Arabia .

The volume of Saudi crude imports by India totaled around 25 million metric tons a year mostly via various term contracts.

India imports around 76% of the crude oil it processes.

-By Himendra Kumar, Dow Jones Newswires; 91-98101-94874; himendra.kumar@ (END) Dow Jones Newswires 01-27-06 0757ET Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Top of page

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