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Hardy’s Legal Hurdles May Dampen Foreign Explorers’ Interest
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‘Taxing’ Fuels In Anticipation Of Declining Crude Oil Price
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Easing Rules For Retail Marketing Of Petrol And Diesel
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Regulation
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FDI Inflows Into Petroleum Sector Refuse To Pick Up Speed
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Estimated, Established Hydrocarbon Resources In India
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TN Govt. Comes Out Against Hydrocarbon Exploration In State
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GAIL Commissions Gas Pipeline To Gorakhpur
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Companies
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Oil India Bags 12 Blocks
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Press Release [FREE Access]
Petro Intelligence » Adnoc Towers: Vivid Pictures On A Symbol Of Coalescing Interests

By R. Sasankan

Grand gestures often cement great relationships. When the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to light up the iconic Adnoc Tower in Abu Dhabi with the portraits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed along with the flags of the two countries to honour the swearing-in ceremony of the new Modi government, it sent out an extremely strong signal of friendship and solidarity – and immediately raised the prospects for a vibrant business relationship between the two nations.

Last July, the UAE extended a similar gesture to Chinese President Xi Jinping when he arrived in the UAE on a state visit. President Xi was also bestowed the Order of Zayed – the UAE’s highest civil decoration – when he visited Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. The sideshow during President Xi’s visit was the wide-ranging agreement that state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) signed with China National Petroleum Company to explore business opportunities in the emirates. Adnoc has plans to expand its refining and petrochemical operations and needs to hook up with the world’s biggest buyers of crude oil and petroleum products: China and India.

Crown Prince - Abu DhabaiModi has also assiduously courted the UAE. Ever since he became India’s Prime Minister in 2014, he has been focusing on building a special relationship with UAE. He visited that country and then Sheikh Mohamad bin Zayed came calling last year. The two countries signed several MoUs seeking to deepen their economic relations in several areas through impact-making initiatives.

Simultaneously, the Indian Prime Minister has made a lot of effort in cultivating the emergent leadership in Saudi Arabia. The growing influence of Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman – who has been trying to write a new paradigm for his country’s terms of engagement with the world – has also caught Mr Modi’s attention. One of the biggest decisions that the Saudis have taken is to pick up a 50 per cent equity in the PSU-sponsored mega refinery on India’s west coast – a gambit that was prompted by the Saudi crown prince. There is a clear realization within Saudi Arabia that India could be a huge market for its petroleum products and it would be wise to tap into it as quickly as possible.

In the end, it all boils down to a change in perceptions and the protean nature of economic progress in the world. These changes can be sudden and dramatic, or infinitesimal and slow paced. But eventually they can change the spheres of influence and the pockets of economic dominance. Some leaders in the world are quick to understand the subtle shift in economic realities and respond with alacrity, changing the course that their elders have followed in the past, driven by dogma, prejudice or traditional ties. China emerged as a super power in the past two decades while several west European economies have attained the limits of economic advancement and will slowly fade into the margins. India is seen today as a rapidly-growing economic power buttressed with the advantage of a huge market. Many business leaders salivate at the prospect of accessing opportunities in this country. The two crown princes of Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, who are no longer hostage to the old, dyed-in-the-wool conventions dictated by regional politics and religion, have been ready to forge new relationships with the rest of the world based on the hard realities of economics and business.

The year 2018 will go down as the one that was singularly path-breaking for relations between India and UAE. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is a corporate giant managed with considerable professionalism.

It filled half of the crude storage in Mangalore and hired the nearby crude cavern at Podur. In return, India’s state-owned entities that were granted a 10 per cent stake in a producing oilfield in Abu Dhabi, the first concession granted by any Middle East country. This was followed the award of an onshore exploration acreage block to a consortium of PSU oil companies. Adnoc has also become a partner in the proposed mega refinery in the state of Maharashtra. Relations between the two countries have reached a level of maturity where they do not have to strike bargains any more. It is in the interest of both the countries to keep up the momentum. Many expect a paradigm shift in the bilateral relations.

India has traditionally been very close to UAE. The truth is that over 27 per cent of the population of UAE is Indian. The share of the Indian population in Abu Dhabi may be higher. The choice of the Adnoc building to honour Prime Minister’s triumphant return to power in India may have a lot to do with the fact that it is the most visible and vibrant symbol that signifies the rapid growth in India’s oil trade with Abu Dhabi. Let us also never forget that just over 50 years ago, the Indian rupee was the currency that was widely used in UAE. India is Abu Dhabi's largest trading partner and about 8% of India's oil imports come from Abu Dhabi.

Another fact -- around which there is some debate -- is that India tries to play down the size of its Muslim population. While most sources place it as the second largest home of Muslims (after Indonesia) or third (after Indonesia and Pakistan); some argue that it is the largest or a very close second largest home to Muslims in the world after Indonesia. However, no one disputes the fact that India could be well on its way to becoming the largest Muslim nation in the world in the next 20 years or so.

The deepening of the relations among India, UAE and Saudi Arabia has a diplomatic angle as well. All three nations are close to the US. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have deeper relations with the US and Modi has succeeded in steering India into the circle of US’ friends. Trump is battling India on several trade-related issues but sees Modi as a close friend.

A New York Times columnist recently described Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, as arguably the most powerful leader in the Arab world. For decades, the prince has been a key US ally and has closely followed Washington’s lead. But now he is ready to strike out on his own. Under the Trump administration, his influence in Washington appears to be greater than ever. He is also among the most influential foreign voices in Washington, urging the United States to adopt his increasingly bellicose approach to the region. Now that former foreign secretary Jaisankar has been appointed as India’s new foreign minister in the new Modi cabinet, India’s closeness to the current US administration is only expected to grow.

There is only question that needs to be asked: how long will it take before the UAE confers on Modi the Order of Zayed – the highest civilian honour named after UAE’s founding father? Besides President Xi Jinping, it has been bestowed on only a handful of persons who have been recognized as that country’s most esteemed partners: Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and King Mohammed VI of Morocco.



To download the latest issue 'Volume 26 Issue 7 - July 10, 2019', click here
Petro Intelligence [FREE Access]
Modi Govt Gets Ready To Step On The Gas
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Shift Threat Quells Protest Against Aramco’s Giant Refinery
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Adnoc Towers: Vivid Pictures On A Symbol Of Coalescing Interests
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Oil Buyers’ Club: A Noble Idea, But Will It Work?
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Foreign Investment
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Overseas Investment
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Gas Scene
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Global Natural Gas Price Trends, Domestic Gas price April 2019
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Demand & Fuel Mix For Indian Power Sector, Alternative Scenario’s For Gas Demand
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Plant Liquefaction Scope Complexity and Capital Investment Factor
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Coal Bed Methane (CBM) gas development in India
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LPG Market Profile In Brief As On April 1, 2019
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Domestic Natural Gas Price and Price Cap for Deepwater, High temp High Pressure Areas
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Capacity Utilization of LNG Regasfication Terminals in FY 2018-19
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BAU scenario: India’s CGD gas consumption projected to grow by 10%
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Global LNG Fleet
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Increasing Dependence of Imported RLNG
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Russian Company Gazprom’s Average Gas Production Cost
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Natural Gas Price: Global / India
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India’s Sectoral Consumption of Natural Gas (FY 2018, FY 2023 & FY 2030)
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CFSR Study Report - Seamless Development of Gas Value Chain
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Potential LNG and FLNG Projects Aiming for FID in 2019-2020
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Data Section
Monthly Upstream Data
Monthly Downstream Data
Historical database
Data Archives
Special Database
Distillate Yield of PSU Refineries
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Strategic Importance of Strait Of Hormuz For Asian Crude oil Importers
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Basin-wise PEL & PML under Nomination Regime as on 1st December, 2018
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Shrinking NELP Blocks Under Operation
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Indian crude oil basket price in June 2019 (in $ per bbl)
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Major highlights of ONGC Videsh
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Cash Compensation by Govt. on LPG under DBTL (Rs/ 14.2 kg Cylinder)
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Planned Refinery Capacity Expansion
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Refining Capacity addition over the years
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Power deficit: Region-wise position for May 2019 (% deficit)
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Imports Of Crude Oil And Average Crude Oil Prices (Indian Basket)
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India Imports More Petroleum Products In May 2019
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Crude Oil Imports Decline Sharply From OPEC Countries
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India – Attractive Industry Dynamics
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IOC Enhances Its Role In E& P
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GRM Of Indian Refineries Fall Sharply in FY 2018-19
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BPCL’s Upstream Global Spread: An Update
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ONGC Oil and Gas Production
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World Oil Demand
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Energy Transition: Implications For India
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Assessment Methodology for Hydrocarbon Resource of Indian Sedimentary Basins
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Passenger Vehicle Sales Records Sharper Decline in April 2019
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Circular Economy-Decoupling Economic Growth and Resource Use
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ONGC Group: Reserves as on 1st April 2019
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