Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily Tuesday stressed the need for more tie-ups between Indian and Australian oil companies to meet India's liquefied natural gas (LNG) needs.
His remark came at a meeting with visiting Australian Energy, Tourism and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, in view of Australia augmenting its LNG supply capacity, India's rising demand for natural gas, and the up-coming LNG import facilities in the country, according to an official here.
The two countries are currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economnc Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aiming to achieve greater economic and financial integration of the two economies, which would enable efficient cross-border flows of long-term funds into long-gestation projects like infrastructure and mining.
India is the third-largest Australian market, while the doubling of bilateral trade between the two countries to $40 billion over the next five years would be driven by the mining and resources sectors
According to Indian commerce ministry officials, a successful conclusion to the CEPA would provide the biggest boost to the Australia-India Joint Working Group on Energy and Minerals set up in 2000.
Areas identified by India for accelerated Australian participation included natural gas infrastructural development, best practices in mining, and production technologies in underground mining and geosciences applicable to mineral exploration.