Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured an enabling environment for investors wanting to explore new sources of energy. This comes at a time when India needs to increase its energy supply 3-4 times over the next two decades.

Inaugurating the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit here, Singh said: “To bridge the gap between supply and demand, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore our onshore and offshore regions.

“I take this opportunity to assure investors of the Government's commitment to providing a stable and enabling environment for exploration of new sources of energy.”

India currently ranks as the world's seventh largest energy producer, accounting for just about 2.5 per cent of the total annual energy production. It is the 4th largest energy consumer after the US, China and Japan.

With oil and gas constituting around 41 per cent of the country's primary energy consumption, India is expected to be the 3rd largest energy consumer by 2020.

To bridge the gap between supply and demand, the Government is encouraging domestic and global companies to explore onshore and offshore regions, Singh said.

Citing the example of the US shale gas revolution, he said: “The shale gas revolution has been made possible primarily by two factors — technology and market-based pricing.

“This is a combination that is essential to provide rapidly growing economies like ours with energy solutions commensurate with our needs.”

Other options

India is also progressively pursuing other options to achieve energy security, he said, adding that one of these is the acquisition of energy assets in other countries.

The country imports about 80 per cent of its oil needs and more than half of its natural gas requirement. It has market-based pricing for crude but sub-market rates for gas.

A new pricing regime is envisaged from April 1, 2014. While rates will nearly double to $8.2-8.4 per million British thermal unit, they will still be lower than the market price.

shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 3, 2013)
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