India and the UAE on Wednesday discussed ways to strengthen energy cooperation, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, despite the nation asking its refiners to reduce their reliance on Middle Eastern oil.
"(We) discussed about new areas of cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector and beyond, and agreed to remain committed despite the challenges presented by Covid pandemic," Pradhan said on Twitter after a virtual meeting with Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC).
UAE is a key oil supplier to India and a partner in an Indian joint venture that plans to build a 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) refinery and petrochemical complex on the country's west coast.
Last month, the UAE was the fifth biggest oil supplier to India, which itself is the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer.
Pradhan said he also discussed with Jaber ways of strengthening and "providing momentum to (the) bilateral strategic energy partnership" between the countries.
India imports more than 80 per cent of its oil needs, a significant amount of which comes from West Asia. New Delhi has, however, asked refiners to gradually reduce oil imports from West Asia and diversify supplies, after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.