Pradhan energises oil & gas ties during Kazakhstan trip
India and Kazakhstan have discussed deepening cooperation in the oil and gas sector as well as expanding the International North-south Transport Corridor by linking it to the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-iran rail link.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan led a delegation to Astana for the meeting of the India-kazakhstan Inter-governmental Commission (IGC), which is co-chaired by Kazakh Energy Minister Kanatbozumbayev.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed "ideas for stepping up the cooperation in the energy sector, trade, economics, investment, transport and connectivity, agriculture, information technology, space, healthcare and cultural spheres between the two countries", an official statement said.
The two sides discussed "the possibilities of expanding cooperation in exploration and production of hydrocarbons and investments in infrastructure projects in the oil and gas sector".
ONGC Videsh Ltd owns a 25 per cent stake in the Satpayev oilfield in the Caspian Sea.
In the nuclear energy sector, the two sides agreed to work on application of nuclear science in the areas of health and agriculture.
"They explored the possibility of expanding the International North-south Transport Corridor (INSTC) by linking it to the Kazakhstan-turkmenistan-iran rail link," it said.
INSTC is a 7,200-km multi-mode network of ship, rail and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.
India and Kazakhstan also agreed to develop and deepen bilateral relations in the fields of agriculture, mining and civil aviation. Kazakhstan is strategically located between Europe and Asia and offers enormous business and investment opportunities. The country is rich in mineral resources such as uranium, oil and natural gas.
"Both leaders agreed to collaborate in the oil and gas sector for mutual benefit and further strengthen the engagement by addressing issues of concern to Indian investors, particularly in the Kazakh hydrocarbon sector," the statement said.
Bozumbayev invited Indian investments in various sectors, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector, infrastructure, peaceful use of nuclear energy, co-production of films, cooperation in food processing and information technology.
The two sides exchanged lists containing priority export items, the statement said without elaborating.