India is in discussions with Norwegian energy giant Equinor for its participation in India’s strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) to bolster India’s energy security, according to a Mint report.

Equinor’s logo is seen at Gastech 2023 in Singapore (Reuters)

Negotiations are also ongoing for long-term liquified natural gas (LNG) deals from Equinor’s extensive portfolio in the US and Qatar, two people aware of the development told Mint.

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These negotiations come against the backdrop of continued production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, which have put global supply chains under pressure, Mint wrote.

Equinor is no stranger to India, having partnered with state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), offshore wind, and green hydrogen projects. Equinor-backed Scatec ASA also joined forces with India’s Acme Group for a $6 billion green hydrogen and green ammonia project in Oman, which aims to supply emission-free fuel to Europe and Asia, according to the article.

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In February, Equinor signed a 15-year agreement to supply LNG to Indian fertilizer and petrochemical company Deepak Fertilisers, the article read.

Similarly, state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) recently inked a long-term LNG contract with France’s TotalEnergies to supply 1 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) for around 10 years. Indian Oil had previously signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) for the supply of 1.2 mmtpa of LNG starting in 2026.

Energy security is pivotal for India, which imports over 85% of its oil and 55% of its gas requirements. Fluctuations in global prices can significantly impact India’s import bill, stoke inflation, and widen the trade deficit, according to Mint.

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