India may transport Russian oil to Bangladesh: Economic Times

Representational image. File photo

India is exploring the infrastructure that could be used to transport Russian oil and gas to Bangladesh, the Economic Times reported today.

As Bangladesh is looking to get discounted Russian energy to meet its growing domestic demand, the issue of getting oil and gas from that country had figured in talks when Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar called on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 5 during her official visit to New Delhi.

At that time, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen had told the media that since Bangladesh did not have the refinery needed to process Russian oil, the pipeline option was discussed.

He had hastened to add that it depended on the price Bangladesh can negotiate with India, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

If Bangladesh and India can arrive at the price for Russian crude after it is refined in Indian refineries, what remains to be sorted out is how that can be sent to Bangladesh -- whether by tankers or any other supply mode.

One of the options for supplying Russian oil could be using the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) project meant for exporting oil from northeastern Indian state Assam's refinery in Numaligarh via Siliguri Marketing Terminal in West Bengal to Dinajpur in Bangladesh, Indian officials said.

They dismissed suggestions that India is keen to be a transit hub for Russian energy for Bangladesh only after Turkey had pitched in to emerge as a transit point for such supplies to India's eastern neighbour.

The officials said the issue of India supplying Russian oil to Bangladesh had come up much before Turkey had expressed its keenness and New Delhi does not view its ties with Bangladesh through the prism of Dhaka's relations with Ankara.

India's robust political relations with Bangladesh stand on their own and there is no reason why a third country factor could come in here, according to the officials.

Turkey's Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan November 16 said, his country would be "more than happy" to help Bangladesh by becoming a transit country for Russian energy supplies.


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