India Intention to Expand Relationship with Russia

India Intention to Expand Relationship with Russia

𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐯 𝐊𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐡 is an accomplished Strategist and Marketer with over 23 years of experience in the Oil & Gas sector and has held various leadership roles in 𝗧𝗼𝘁𝗮𝗹, 𝗕𝗣, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝗽𝗮𝗿. Besides India, Pranav has wide international experience working in Paris and Singapore. His functional expertise includes Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Marketing.
Infinity Galaxy, an international supplier of bitumen and petrochemicals, has conducted an interview with 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐯 𝐊𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐡 on behalf of Energy World Magazine on 30 December 2022 in New Delhi, India.

India and Iran were partners for a long time. To what extent do see India's energy markets being dependent on Iran’s market?

Very interesting question. First and foremost, India and Iran are the two civilizational states in the region. The relations go on by concerning the energy sector relationship. New development of the world goes a long back. Concerning the energy sector relationship if you look at the new development and the world geopolitical stage, wherein there are clear indications that the world is moving from a unipolar of the western-centric world to a more multipolar world with different power sectors emerging in the geopolitical power centers. And the key power sectors in the re-aligned world is besides the existing US and Europe would be China, Russia, Iran, and India. Now that’s where large part of the world is moving to and we also need to understand that approximately 82% of the humanity, the human population, is outside of the US and Europe and this 82% which is collectively known as the global South is gaining greater and greater importance. Having said that the role of India and Iran If we see the recent crisis arising in the aftermath of Russia-Ukraine conflict, there has been a great amount of pressure from the sanctioning countries versus the US and the European Union to get the rest of the world to follow the sanction regime. And clearly this time it is not happening, particularly in the case of India. India has been able to take a very independent stance of not following the sanction regime and takes its own independent decisions. Now that is just the first part of the decision, next part is so far India has not directly purchased crude oil and petroleum products from Iran but that is one area I see changing in the near term. And it is a 3 months’ time or it could take about a year-and-a-half. But there are clear signs emerging that Iran and India’s relationship on trade would become more mainstream and less impacted by the sanctions.

In your talks, you also mentioned Russia and China. How much do you see the effect of Russia in the market and the size of his segment in India?

The effect of Russia is very visible and China has always been a powerhouse when it comes to global trade and economics. But first come to Russia. India’s trade with Russia before the onset of Russia and Ukraine conflict was very small and was not growing. It was largely restricted to the defense sector and some handicrafts and trades. But after the conflict because of the price arbitrage or the price discount opportunity, India capitalized on that so much. So, if we look at the shipment expected in December for the Russian crude, 40% of the Russian crude was headed towards India which in the previous year, Russia accounted for less than 2% of India’s crude imports which currently after the conflict has become something closer to 28 - 29 %. So, these new geopolitical developments are providing a great opportunity to reset and recalibrate the trade and economic relationship.

As you mentioned, India has a large import section from Iran how much do you think Iran’s portion is in India’s oil, gas, and bitumen market?

Oh, currently it is almost entirely when we look at the oil and gas sector it is bitumen and a few other downstream products, when it comes to crude oil and gas, unfortunately, at the moment there is next to negligible effective trade happening between Iran and India. There could be some very small figures but they are not anything significant. And that is the next leg of big change similar to the stance taken by India on the Russian imports, I guess it’s just a matter of time, could be within 6 months, could be within 2 years. That’s a kind of timeframe we see things happening in respect of whether the nuclear deals happen or not.

Except Iran what countries do you think are the top participating countries in the gas and oil import market of India?

In gas and oil is Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Iraq has been traditionally, till last year, the largest supplier of the crude oil. Gas is largely from Qatar that has been the main source. And crude oil, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and some from the US. So that’s how the large part of the import of crude oil to India share has been.

My next question is about the peace pipeline between Iran and Pakistan. The project was meant to be finished by now but there were a lot of obstacles. What were the effective factors to postpone the project?

Very interesting and a very complex question. Now, trying to see through the reasons behind that. First and foremost, the entire area where it has to pass through was Afghanistan and it was not in the best of or the most peaceful situation. So, it was impacting. The influence of US and the whole scheme of things between these two states, Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, there was lots of backend operation by the western block to create as much impairment as possible. India has not been directly involved in it but we would love to see the project accelerating its pace of completion because it’s just a matter of time when the larger piece prevails and that pipeline could be extended to India. So that’s how India looks at it.

We talked about gas and oil, now let’s get to methanol. How much do you think Iran participates in India’s methanol market?

Now the trade data are not directly available because it is a rerouting route. That’s how the trade taking place. So I’ll have to take a bit of a guess and our estimate could be of all the imports of methanol into India. Something closer to 20% could be accounted from Iran.

May 30, 2023 15:10


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The section of oil, gas and petro-chemistry is the up-most and first industrial vantage of the country and the pivot of the Economy of Iran. Regarding the importance of this section and the need for coordinating and organizing the most active people in the field of production and exporting oil ,gas, and petrochemical products ,some forethoughtful and job- makers in the private section of the country decided to come together to fight against the threats by using the opportunity of mass intelligence and potentials.