The Union Minister of state (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan has said that India is at a critical stage of development and the new government led by Narendra Modi is giving it the much needed impetus for further growth. In his opening remarks during the Indian Ministerial Session at the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow today, he that India today consumes 4.5% of World’s Primary Energy and is in 4th position globally and hence it is imperative that all steps are taken to facilitate the availability of energy for every single person thereby ensuring inclusive growth.
Responding to queries from representatives of Exploration & Production Operators and various countries, Shri Pradhan said that the Government of India intends to bring in policies which would ease the way for large foreign investments in the oil & gas sector. He informed that there is a need for facilitating increased production in India and the need to hasten the pace of domestic exploration and production. He said that to do so, his ministry is already in the process of bringing out amendments and new policies.
The Minister on the occasion also offered the expertise of the Indian National Oil Companies for exploration and production activities overseas. He informed that more than $21 billion has been invested by the National Oil Companies overseas. Shri Pradhan said that the priority of the government led by Shri Modi would be to put in place transparent systems and time-bound delivery of Government services. Creation of a policy environment which is predictable, transparent and fair would be a very important action, he added. The minister said that the motto is “Minimum Government & Maximum Governance”.
During the session, a presentation was made on the oil & gas sector of India in which the proposed policy changes, including bringing in a uniform licensing policy to facilitate E & P operators to work on a single policy regime, was outlined. It was also informed that the next round of auctioning of Oil & Gas blocks will be done with all necessary statutory clearances which will de-risk the exploration activities to some extent. More than 1,48,000 sq. km. have been identified for auction under NELP X.
The Minister earlier held bilateral meetings with the Deputy Minister of Energy of Colombia, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Oil & Gas of Kazakhstan, Minister of Oil & Gas of Algeria, and Minister of Oil & Gas Trinidad & Tobago. The deliberations were held on specific issues in a spirit of mutual engagement and cooperation.