“We expect to secure ourselves a role of a reliable energy supplier to the Asian markets. At the same time, we intend to boost economic growth in Russia’s Eastern Siberia and Far East regions and build new infrastructure there,” Putin said in an interview with India’s PTI news agency ahead of his official visit to India later this week.
Putin said Russia traditionally exported hydrocarbons to Europe but recently the level of Russian energy supplies consumption in Europe slumped, while political, regulative and transit risks soared.
“At the same time, the economies of Asian countries are growing rapidly. Thus, we are naturally interested in diversifying the destinations of our energy deliveries,” the Russian president added.
Putin also said Russia is interested in Indian investment in the oil and gas sector, including projects in the Arctic.
“In view of the fact that Russia currently implements large-scale energy projects, we are interested in attracting new investments and technologies, including from India,” Putin said shortly before his visit to New Delhi.“As a good example of our mutually beneficial cooperation with Indian partners I could cite, in particular, the Sakhalin 1 project. A government oil and natural gas corporation ONGC is participating in it through its subsidiary, the ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), which is a major Indian investor in Russia. Under the Sakhalin 1 project, over one million tons of oil is supplied to India annually,” he said.
“The issue of participation by the OVL in hydrocarbons exploration in the Arctic is being actively discussed. This May, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Rosneft and OVL relating to cooperation on Russia's Arctic shelf within an international consortium,” Putin said.
The issue of Russian natural gas supplies to India demands a detailed consideration, but if it is necessary to choose between deliveries via a pipeline or in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the latter is better, the Russian president said in the interview.
“As far as Russia's natural gas supplies to India are concerned, that issue needs thorough consideration. A preliminary analysis has shown that the cost of pipeline transportation may significantly exceed that of liquefied natural gas supplies. So this is largely the question of commercial feasibility,” Putin said.
“For the time being, Russian liquefied natural gas transportation seems the best choice,” he said.
“Let me remind you that last year the Gazprom Marketing and Trading Company already delivered to India two LNG shipments totaling 0.11 million tons in all. A long-term agreement on LNG supplies signed between the Gazprom Group and India's GAIL in 2012 entered into force in June 2014: it provides for the delivery of 2.5 million tons a year for the period of 20 years,” Putin said.
“India will start receiving LNG shipments as early as in 2017, or, in case the deadlines are shifted, by all means no later than in 2021,” he said.
“We hope that our increased cooperation in the energy sector will contribute to India's sustainable and progressive social and economic development and help improve the quality of life of Indian people,” the Russian president said.