(Adds details, background)
MOSCOW, March 25 Rosneft, the world's
top listed oil producer by output, may join forces with Indian
state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp to supply oil to
India over the long term, the Russian state-controlled company
said on Tuesday.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir
Putin, travelled to India on Sunday, part of a wider Asian trip
to shore up ties with eastern allies at a time when Moscow is
being shunned by the West over its annexation of Crimea.
With EU nations threatening to cut their reliance on Russian
oil and gas, Russian officials have started to look East.
Rosneft said it had also agreed with ONGC they may join
forces in Rosneft's yet-to-be built liquefied natural gas plant
in the far east of Russia to the benefit of Indian consumers.
Rosneft did not provide any additional details on its
planned cooperation with ONGC.
The company said Sechin and the head of Indian conglomerate
Reliance Industries also met and discussed potential
cooperation in developing Russia's offshore resources, viewed by
Moscow as a source of future oil production growth.
India was the last country in Sechin's Asian trip, where he
also visited Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
Russia is the world's top oil producer, pumping over 10
million barrels per day but mostly from west Siberian deposits,
which are running out. Moscow is betting on offshore and
unconventional oil to maintain the level.
At the same time, Russia is trying to diversify its energy
flows away from its core European markets, with Rosneft leading
the race with plans to triple oil flows to China to over 1
million barrels per day in coming years.
Rosneft said Sechin also discussed potential shipments of
Russia's East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil blend to India's
biggest refiner Indian Oil Corporation but did not
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)