India is seeking to expand its oil ties with African nations in order to lock in supplies at the time of low oil prices to be able to meet country’s future demand, Reuters reported. “We should take advantage of sliding oil prices and take active role in the development of African nations,” India’s Oil Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, told at the recently held India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference. African nations were reported eager to attract Indian investments to increase their oil output and develop infrastructure.

India wants to increase crude import volumes from Nigeria, the country’s third largest crude importer, to 3m tons per annum, up from 1.7m, in 2016, wrote Kashmir Images. Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest refiner, has projected a double crude import from the African country at the level of 60,000b/d for 2016-17.

In addition, India was offered to purchase equity in Guinea’s oil blocks, while Algeria was keen on tie-ups with New Delhi for exploration and developing petrochemical projects.

Further, Sudan has recently offered three oil and gas blocks for exploration and development to ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. The African country is also seeking Indian companies’ expertise in raising production from existing fields. Sudanese Oil Minister, Mohamed Zayed Awad, has urged another Indian company, OVL, to consider buying a stake in Block 17, which reportedly produces 7,000b/d of oil, Kashmir Images added.

India is seen as the most important driver of energy demand growth in the world in the years to come with its oil consumption seen rising by 6mb/d to about 10mb/d by 2040, according to Reuters citing the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Until now, India has exerted large efforts in expanding its links to the oil-rich continent. In 2015, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, extended $10b in credit to African nations for the next five years and the country has stepped up oil imports from the African oil major countries.