ADNOC CEO: 'We simply can and should invest in downstream'

Proposed Ratnagiri Refinery Gets Another Middle Eastern Investor

Pradhan was speaking at ADNOC's headquarters on the sidelines of an event marking the first cargo of crude oil from ADNOC, to the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) after it has been loaded and was en-route to India.

The agreement was signed previous year between ADNOC and ISPRL, an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for strategic needs, to locate 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil at the facility in the state of Karnataka.

According to a 12 May Indian government statement the loading of the first crude consignment was witnessed by petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan who is now on a visit to the gulf nation. Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the United Arab Emirates' oil, already sells most of its crude to Asia.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday reneged on an global nuclear accord with Iran and announced renewed sanctions against the OPEC member.

"The strategic reserve project represents an important new energy partnership with India that leverages the UAE and ADNOC's expertise and oil resources", Jaber said in a statement. The unprecedented investment program will underpin a new downstream strategy to significantly expand ADNOC's refining and petrochemical operations at Ruwais in the UAE, and undertake highly targeted overseas investments to secure greater market access.

ADNOC also plans to triple petrochemicals output at the plant from 4.5 million to 14.5 million tonnes a year, its CEO Sultan al-Jaber said.

So ADNOC's bold decision to expand its downstream sector and diversify its activities might come as a safety net, ensuring new ways to strengthen UAE's economy in the long run.

Building on the existing strengths and competitive advantages of the Ruwais Industrial Complex, ADNOC will create the world's largest and most advanced integrated refining and petrochemicals complex.

India-UAE ties moved into a new trajectory with the August 2015 visit to Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In February, ADNOC said it was investing $3.1bn to upgrade its 842,000 bpd Ruwais oil refinery to free up more crude for export from its flagship Murban grade. One of the key outcomes of that visit, the first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years, was the two sides agreeing to the setting up of a multi-billion dollar fund to tap into investment opportunities in India's infrastructure sector.

The oil minister said there was a consensus between Saudi state oil giant Aramco, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ADNOC and Indian companies to form a joint venture. The strategy is expected to add more than 15,000 jobs by 2025 and contribute an additional 1% to GDP per year. "While part of the stored oil will be used for commercial purposes by ADNOC, the major part will be purely for strategic purposes", Pradhan added in the ADNOC statement.

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