Oil Rosneft company Russia
A worker looks at a pump jack at the Rosneft company owned Samotlor oil field outside the West Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk, Russia, January 26, 2016.Reuters

In a bid to meet the rising fuel demand, India, which has been on the lookout for oil and gas resources, now hopes to acquire assets in Russia. India's Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, on Thursday said state-run refiners are exploring the possibility of acquiring a stake in Russian oil major Rosneft.

Russia is planning to divest 19.5 percent stake in government-owned oil company Rosneft, which produces 205 million tonnes of crude oil in a year.The estimated stake sale is valued at about $11 billion, the Economic Times reported. The country is looking for strategic partners at a time when oil prices are low and Western sanctions are on.

Russia wants to cut its budget deficit via the stake sale in Rosneft and prefers a joint deal with emerging economies, such as India and China, Press Trust of India reported.

The Indian oil minister has said that state-run firms are looking into the offer. "Rosneft is offering its equity in the market. Indian energy companies are examining if they could take some of the equity that Rosneft is divesting," Pradhan told reporters, according to Mint. 

India and Russia have reportedly been stitching various deals in the oil and natural gas sector. Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) recently paid about $1.27 billion to acquire a 15 percent stake in Rosneft's Vankor field, which is one of the largest oil fields in Russia. The firm is currently in talks to expand the stake to 26 percent.

A consortium of three companies, comprising Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Oil India, has agreed to purchase 23.9 percent stake in Vankor, ET added. On completion of the deal, the total value of the Indian stake in Vankor would rise to 49.9 percent. In addition, the consortium has also agreed to acquire 29.9 percent stake in Taas-Yuvarkh field in Russia for a sum of $1.3 billion. So far, India has invested about $5.5 billion in Russia's oil and gas sector.

Russia is hurt by Western sanctions over its Ukrainian actions, due to which Russian companies' access to Western capital market was frozen. 

Also read