India and Saudi Arabia have decided to change the ‘energy relationship’ into a new ‘strategic relationship’ to include Saudi partnership in building additional crude oil storage reserves in India, a new refinery on the west coast of India and investment in retail sector in petroleum.
India imports around 18 percent of its crude oil from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, making it the second-largest source of crude oil. Mr. TS Tirumurti, Secretary Economic Relations, said, 'We have discussed maritime and energy security cooperation and to transform energy relationship into a strategic partnership and move ahead from the existing buyer- seller relations.'
Notably, the two sides are looking to have Saudi Arabia participate in making an additional 2.5 million tonne oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka. India already has storage of some 5 million tonnes at two locations, each on the west coast.
On the new refinery along the west coast a study has been ordered to confirm the parameters of the project. 'There is determination to take it forward and we are confident that this would be taken forward,' Mr. Tirumurti said.