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India plans to increase crude imports from Colombia


India is planning to increase crude oil imports from Colombia by 20-30%. Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who recently concluded his visit to the Latin American nation, discussed the matter with his Colombian


Sources told FE that Pradhan met with minister of mines and energy Tomás González Estrada and other senior officials in Bogota. While no firm decision has been taken yet,  Colombia is keen on expanding crude export to India.

Also, ONGC Videsh, which is currently holding seven blocks in Colombia, intends to expand its presence in the country. Pradhan had also visited oil fields where Indian firms have stakes.

Currently, India imports about 60% of its total crude oil needs from Arab nations and 20% from Latin America. India plans to increase the imports from Latin American nations to 50% over the next five years. At present, Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia are the nations that supply larger amount of oil to India.

“We already have a very strong relationship with Colombia on hydrocarbons. At present, ONGC Videsh has operations in the Llanos field in Colombia’s Orinoco and explored five wells. The same company owns 50% of the Mansarovar, in a joint venture with the Chinese company Sinopec, in the region of Magdalena Medio,” Pradhan said.

According to Pradhan, the hike in the oil prices has not affected business between India and Colombia. On the contrary we want to increase our economic relations, he said.

Colombia is a major supplier of oil to India, with figures rising. In 2014, the total exports of Colombian crude to India reached $2.6 billion.

India has identified four areas of cooperation between Colombian and Indian companies: exploration and production of oil; activities of refining, processing and purification of hydrocarbons; and looking for more oil in the country. The possibility of involving Indian companies in contractual services with Colombian firms in the sector was also evaluated.

According to the Colombia-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, last year the trade balance between both countries was $4,830 million. Also in 2014, there was an investment of $ 95 million by Indian private companies in the country.
Last year, Colombia exported about 6.3 million metric tonne of crude, according to figures from the chamber.