India and Russia - natural partners in energy collaboration

New Delhi, Dec 30 (IANS): Mumbai-based think-tank The Gateway House in its recent report "India-Russia: Energy and economic security" published days after the 21st edition of India-Russia annual summit establishes that the two countries are nothing less than natural partners for energy collaboration.

India imports 85 per cent of its oil, while Russia is one of the largest exporters. An expanded bilateral investment strategy development is underway to help Russia access new markets and India meet its energy requirements. This mutually beneficial collaboration re-affirms trust between the two countries amidst complex geopolitical realities.

The two states go beyond building a dialogue and are already taking active steps in promoting cooperation.

In particular, the Indian investors show utmost interest in development of the Eastern Siberia. Investments in Vostok Oil, the largest "green" project, are currently being considered. Vostok Oil comprises 52 licensed areas, containing 13 oil and gas fields, including Vankorskoye, Suzunskoye, Tagulskoye, Lodochnoye fields, as well as new promising fields, unique in their reserves: Payakhskoye and Zapadno-Irkinskoye.

Low unit production costs and a carbon footprint that is 75 per cent lower than that of other major new oil projects around the globe, make Vostok Oil one of the most promising upstream oil projects in the world. The resource base of the project exceeds 6 billion tonnes of oil (44 billion barrels), characterised by a uniquely low sulfur content of 0.01-0.04 per cent. The resource base matches the largest oil provinces in the Middle East or the US shale formations.

The high quality of the feedstock eliminates the need for separate refinery units and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Estimated oil production at Vostok Oil is 100 million tonnes in 2030. The logistical advantage of the Vostok Oil project is the possibility to supply raw materials from the fields in two directions at once - to the European and Asian markets.

Major global companies had recently joined the project: at the end of 2020, the major international trader Trafigura bought 10% of the project, and in November 2021, a consortium led by Vitol acquired 5 per cent in the project.

The Vostok Oil project is being developed by the leading Russian and global oil major - Rosneft. The largest US investment bank J.P. Morgan included Rosneft in the list of the most attractive companies for investment globally in 2022. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the second largest US investment bank, included Rosneft in its global list; investment targets in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region in 2022.

The bank's analysts noted that Rosneft's shares have a growth potential of 40 per cent. The company also has one of the lowest unit production costs (about $2.6 per barrel) amid the largest reserves.

Many analysts note the significant role of the Vostok Oil project in Rosneft's revaluation. Bank of America Merrill Lynch adds that if market conditions are favorable, the net present value of the project may exceed $100-120 billion. The bank's analysts have already given the project the status of a "growth driver" for Rosneft.

Goldman Sachs dubbed it a "magnet for investors".

Another important factor that makes Rosneft so appealing for the investors is the company's attractive dividend yield, which the analysts at J.P. Morgan expect to be 11-13 per cent in 2022-2023. Overall, the investment community appreciates Rosneft's growth potential. Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts the value of the company's GDR at $11.2 and Raiffeisen Bank at $11.



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