(EnergyAsia, February 26 2010, Friday) — India is making a high-profile pitch for the oil producers of the Middle East to store crude and products in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lead a delegation including his petroleum minister and senior energy officials to the Middle East this week where he will offer Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Sudan and Oman land and facilities to set up strategic storage terminals in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.

The proposal will be modelled after South Korea’s successful arrangement with Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Norway and international oil traders which allows Seoul to draw on the stockpiles in the event of an emergency. The oil companies have access to Korea’s terminalling and port facilities to support their trading, storage and distribution activities in Asia. India will also be competing against storage operators in Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.