ABUJA (Commodity Online) : As a major step towards it entry into Africa's energy fields, energy hungry India expressed its desire to develop refineries, natural gas and LNG projects in oil-rich Nigeria.

India's Petroleum Minister Murli Deora during his visit to the western African country said India has committed to invest more than $360 million in developing two oil blocks in Africa's largest energy-producing country.

He asked Indian oil companies to intensify exploration of oil in Nigeria. The two oil blocks are Nigerian Oil Prospecting Licenses (OPLs) 279 and 285. Drilling has begun in one them.
Following his meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Henry Odein Ajumogobia at Abuja, Deora said India was also looking for partnering with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through the Indian oil and gas conglomerate--ONGC-Mittal Energy Ltd.--to set up a greenfield petroleum refining plant to boost Nigeria's production of petroleum products.

Deora added New Delhi was buying from Nigeria more than 400,000 barrels of oil per day--with an annual value of $10 billion, accounting for around 10 per cent of its crude oil requirements.