The UAE, rich in oil, said Monday that they planned to invest more in refining and petrochemical projects, as well as storing more crude in India.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) of the United Arab Emirates and partner Saudi Aramco together took a 50% stake in the future $ 44 billion refining and petrochemical processing complex in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

He rented premises in strategic underground tanks for oil production in Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka.

"We plan to broaden the investment portfolio in the downstream (especially) oil and petrochemical refining sectors," said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State in the UAE. United Arab Emirates and Director General of ADNOC.

The UAE, he said, wants to go beyond simply selling crude oil in India and developing a strategic partnership.

"We are only looking for a strategic partnership as we can also bring our own crude," he said. "India is not just an important market for us.India is a very strategic partner."

The United Arab Emirates, he said, are seeking to expand their cooperation with India and to enhance their opportunities for cooperation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with reporters after receiving the Lifetime Award of Excellence at the Petrotech Conference.

Like other major producers, Aramco and ADNOC seek to attract their customers into the third largest oil consumer in the world through investments. Kuwait is also looking to invest in projects in exchange for a safe removal of its crude oil.

The UAE provides a small amount of oil to India but accelerates their investments.

Asked if ADNOC had determined the exact amount of its stake in the 60 million tonnes of Ratanagiri refinery per year, he replied, "We are still at an early stage, we are still defining the field and the Us. We work closely with our partner, Saudi Aramco, as well as our counterparts in India.

Aramco and ADNOC will jointly hold 50% of the planned project, but no split has yet been announced.

The remaining 50% is held by the state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. (HPLC).

He added that the UAE was also considering storing more crude oil in Indian warehouses.

"India occupies a very important place in our strategic agenda and the enlargement of our strategic reserve in India will be a topic on the agenda that will be discussed with our friends and counterparts in India", did he declare.

Last November, India signed a first pact to cede to ADNOC part of its strategic underground oil storage in Padur, Karnataka, for crude oil storage.

India has built an emergency storage capacity of 5.33 million tons (enough to cover its oil needs for 9.5 days) in underground caverns in Mangalore and Padur in Karnataka and in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It allowed foreign oil companies to stockpile oil in warehouses provided the stock could be used by New Delhi in case of emergency.

In February 2018, ADNOC signed a pact to fill half of the strategic storage of 1.5 million hydrocarbons in Mangalore. In November 2018, he signed a similar pact for Padur.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (ISPRL) entity of India has built and commissioned underground caverns to store a total of 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil (about 39 million barrels) at three locations : Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MT), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).

One-third of Visakhapatnam's facilities were hired by Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. (HPCL), ADNOC and the Indian government provided storage in Mangalore. The 2.5 million tons of Padur remained empty.

Aramco also wants to start retailing fuel in India.

India has a refining capacity of 247 million tons, which exceeds the demand of 202 million tons.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this demand is expected to reach 458 million tons by 2040.