India is looking to set up smaller petroleum refineries to achieve 450 million metric tonne per annum refining capacity in the country, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday.

Addressing an energy summit organised by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, Puri said smaller refineries pose lesser hurdles like land acquisition and others.

His statement comes against the backdrop of stuck plans of IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum to set up a 60 million metric tonne per annum (mmtpa ) capacity refinery at Ratanagiri in Maharashtra.

At present, India has a refining capacity of 252 mmtpa.

"(Setting up new large) refineries are high cost (proposition). We are looking a large number of up to 20 million metric tonne per annum capacity refineries which are smaller ones. If we make it too big then land acquisition and other issue come up," Puri said.

The minister said India can plan to have 300 mmtpa capacity.

"We need to take few more policy decisions for taking it up to 450 mmtpa (target)," he added.

India will become an energy hub and is going in the green direction, Puri stated adding that "we need refineries as those would make petrochemicals, green hydrogen etc." About the biofuel blending with petroleum products like petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel, he said, "All kind of experimentation is taking place. It is not that it is done in laboratory. It is the marketplace where it is done." He cited the example of blending one per cent biofuel with aviation turbine fuel and expressed happiness over its impact on agriculture, calling it transformational.

Operating Partner Essar Capital Sunil Jain also stressed on the need for energy transition by adding more and more renewable energy capacity like solar, wind and green hydrogen.

He stated that India would require USD 500 billion investment in next eight years till 2030 to achieve its target of 500 GW of green energy.

Jain stressed on the need for change in energy consumption pattern or mix with increasing share of renewables in that to make the country and the world sustainable.

Speaking on energy transition and the evolution of the country's energy mix, Pankaj Kalra, CEO, Essar Exploration and Production Ltd said,"Over the past two years, India has witnessed a remarkable increase of over 13 per cent in gas production YoY (year-on-year), showcasing a very healthy upward trend."

"We take immense pride in our significant contribution of nearly 65 per cent to India's overall CBN (Coal Bed Methane) production, and we have our firm plans to expand our production by almost five times in the next three to five years and contribute five per cent of India's overall production," he stated.

Kalra said the share of gas has been the cornerstone and is expected to rise from 6.7 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030.