India wants to add UAE, Saudi oil for strategic reserve

MUMBAI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - India is talking to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia to fill half of the 1.5 million tonnes (mt) of the Mangalore strategic storage, along with Iranian crude, its oil minister said on Wednesday.

Dharmendra Pradhan told a news conference India is exploring two to three other models for sourcing oil to fill the remainder of the storage.

During Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Kahlid A. Al-Falih’s visit to New Delhi in October, India plans to discuss the filling of the Mangalore strategic storage, and investments in refinery and petrochemical projects.

Globally, most of the biggest crude oil consuming countries have a strategic storage capacity of at least 50 days, but India currently stands less than 10 days.

In 2005, the Oil Ministry had set up Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) to build strategic storages in India. Under phase I of development, the company has built a total of 5.33 mt of storage capacity in three locations - Vizag (1.33 mt), Mangalore (1.5 mt) and Padur (2.5 mt). Only Vizag is currently operational. (Writing by Promit Mukherjee, editing by William Hardy)