India announced it was opening negotiations with state-run oil and gas companies from Africa to acquire more assets on the resource-rich continent in downstream industries, hydrocarbon exploration and production, export of oilfield services, and construction of fertilizer plants, LiveMint reported.

The continent, which accounts for 14.5% of all the proven accessible oil reserves and 13.2% of the accessible gas reserves, has limited capacity in industries such as power, fertilizer, and petrochemicals, where India has an advantage. Meanwhile, Indian oil and gas companies have invested about $8b in oil & gas assets in Mozambique, Sudan, and South Sudan. Engineers India Ltd (EIL) has been associated with refining sector in several countries as well, according to Business Standard.

According to statistics, India imports about 33 mmt of crude oil from Africa, which constitutes 18% of the country’s total crude import. Setting up urea factories could offer a cheaper replacement for India’s imports. Domestic firms such as Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Gail (India) Ltd, and Coal India Ltd are likely to be stakeholders in a $1b fertilizer project proposed in Ghana.

The negotiations are expected to continue at the 4th India-Africa hydrocarbon conference, scheduled to be held on January 21st and 22nd in New Delhi. The focus countries include Sudan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Libya, Ghana, Egypt, and Algeria.