Gulf of Aden Current Affairs - 2020

New Natural Gas Reserves discovered in UAE

On February 2, 2020, the United Arab Emirates discovered shallow natural gas reserves of about 80 trillion cubic feet. The reserve was discovered between the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Highlights

In November 2019, UAE announced the discovery of 7 billion barrels of oil. This raised the crude reserves of the country to 105 billion barrels making it the sixth largest in the world. IT had also announced the discovery of 58 trillion cubic feet of gas. This puts the total reserves of natural gas of UAE to 273 trillion cubic feet conventional gas and 160 trillion cubic feet unconventional gas.

UAE

The UAE is formed by seven Emirates namely Dubai, Abu Dhadi, Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al-Quwain. Around 30% of the GDP of the country is directly based on oil and gas.

India-UAE

The India-UAE bilateral trade currently stands at 59.9 billion USD. India is the third largest investor in UAE. There are more than 2 million Indian population living and working in UAE. The total remittances from UAE to India in the year 2009 was 10 to 12 billion USD. This is one-third of the total remittances received by India and also highest among all the GCC countries.

Oman ships arrive to participate in Indo-Oman bilateral Naval Exercise “Naseem Al-Bahr”

On January 6, 2020, two Oman ships arrived in Goa to participate in “Naseem-Al-Bahr”, the Indo-Oman bilateral naval exercise.

Highlights

RNOV are Royal Navy of Oman Vessels. RNOV al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab arrived at Goa. Along with these ships, Indian Naval Ships Shubhadra and Beas will also participate in the exercise. The Indo-Oman Naval Exercises are being conducted since 1993.

Other exercises between the countries

The countries conduct regular biennial exercises between all three services namely army, navy and air force. ”Al Najah” is the army exercise conducted between the countries. “Ex Eastern Bridge” is the Air Force exercise that is held between the countries.

Significance

The naval exercise with Oman is highly important for India. This is because of strategic location of the country. The country is at the gateway of Strait of Hormuz through which India imports one-fifth of its oil imports. The berth rights given by Oman to Indian vessels is important for the Indian Navy to carry out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

India recently signed a pact with the country in 2018 to access the Duqm port of Oman.

India-Oman

In West-Asia, Oman is one of India’s oldest defence partners and an ally in anti-piracy campaigns. India has supplied rifles to Oman. Also, India is considering to set up a defence production unit in Oman.