India is seeking additional crude imports from Nigeria in order to feed its expanding refining capacity, while also tying up LNG supplies from the African nation.
Indian refiners are expanding capacity as economic growth of approximately 9% boosts sales of cars and motorcycles and rising affluence increases air travel. With India's refining capacity expected to expand significantly from the current 3.7 million bpd to 4.8 million bpd by March 2012, the country predicts that it will require around 18 million tpy of Nigerian crude from 2012/2013 onwards to meet its refining needs.
Meanwhile, GAIL, the state run oil and gas enterprise, is in race to acquire a stake in Nigeria LNG (NLNG): a joint venture between Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total and Eni. GAIL is looking at participating in the Nigerian Gas Master Plan Project (NGMP) and has submitted a proposal along with other international consortium members as India seeks to secure supplies to feed its projected increase in LNG consumption.
GAIL is also keen to take equity in the upcoming Brass LNG and OK LNG Projects to ensure long term sourcing of LNG from Nigeria. The company has also expressed interest in participation in petrochemical projects and city gas distribution projects in Nigeria.
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