Reliance, UAE firm sign pact to explore oil, gas in Gulf (Lead)

June 25th, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, June 25 (IANS) India’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Crescent Petroleum to start joint exploration for oil and gas in the region. This is the first such agreement that the Indian conglomerate has signed with a regional gas exploration company, the Gulf News reported.

“This is our first MoU (memorandum of understanding) with a regional gas exploration company and we look forward to working closely with Crescent in the coming years,” the report quoted Atul Chandra, president of petroleum international business at RIL and director of Reliance E&P, as saying.

“Our MoU covers both upstream and downstream activities in the Middle East and both companies will use their synergies to create a winning proposition.”

According to a Crescent statement, the agreement aims at joint development of oil, gas and other industrial projects in the region’s energy sector.

These include upstream development, mid-stream pipelines and related facilities, as well as downstream industrial and petrochemical projects.

“Pursuant to this agreement the two companies will evaluate and discuss any and all projects that are consistent with each company’s objectives,” Badr Jafar, executive director of the Sharjah-headquartered Crescent Petroleum, said.

According to the report, both companies would be cooperating within the framework of Gas Cities, a proprietary concept developed by Crescent with its partner Dana Gas.

“The vision of Gas Cities is to develop private sector-driven integrated industrial communities relying on natural gas as fuel and feedstock,” the report stated.

RIL chairman and managing director Mukesh D. Ambani had earlier said his company would reposition its global operation to Dubai before investing around $24 billion over the next 10 years in petrochemical projects in the region.

“Dubai will be the gateway for our future investment in this part of the world and beyond,” he had said in an interview last year.

“We will increase our headcount in Dubai, which will be the nerve centre of our international operations,” Ambani had told Gulf News in December last year.

“We have major commitments to the region, which is the hub of the oil and gas sector. We import $30 billion to $40 billion worth of oil, including the bulk from the Gulf, refine it and export gasoline worth $80 billion to Europe and the US,” he had said.

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