US-India looking at tweaking laws to deepen energy partnership: US Energy Secretary

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 30, 2020

Neither the US nor India will benefit from terminating benefits   -  Believe_In_Me

The United States and India are relooking their laws to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries, according to US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. He was speaking at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek.


Responding to a query from BusinessLine on the need to relook at free trade agreements to enable sale of American Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Indian companies, Brouillette said: “These types of agreements have opened up new opportunities for us. We can reconcile some of our laws here in the United States while India is going to reconcile some of its laws so that investors have certainty on both sides of these transactions.”

“And I think you'll see that develop over the course of time as we deepen the relationship with our respective heads of state as well as the respective governments; all throughout the government not just in energy, but also in commerce, agriculture, and other areas,” he added.

Speaking earlier at the event Brouillette said that the US is interested in technology transfers and increasing LNG sales to India. But the two countries are also relooking their legal frameworks to ensure that the contracts that companies (from both countries) sign can be honoured.

“We're also looking at things like investment barriers between both countries. We're looking at our US laws to determine if there may be certain hurdles that would prohibit or somehow slow down investment in these technologies. We're looking at Indian law to see if there might be hurdles and some sort of barriers to entry. So, we're trying to reconcile those things so that we can trade much easier than we have been in the past,” he said.

“I think energy is one of the building blocks of the relationship (between India and the US). We work closely with them on things like nuclear technologies for instance on the military side. We have a great relationship there,” he added.

Brouillette said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid out some very aggressive goals to transition the Indian economy towards natural gas. He added that the US would like to offer LNG to meet the need of cooking fuel in India.

He also said that the US would like to partner with India in solar energy by means of technology transfer. “India has an enormous interest in Solar Technologies and solar energy. We're working closely with them to identify new technologies that are going to be coming online very shortly. Now, they're readily available,” he said.

Hitting out at China, Brouillette said that India is now best positioned to develop solar manufacturing through US developed technologies.

He also said that talks are at an advanced stage between India and the US for utilising the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in the US to store crude oil for India. The two countries had signed a preliminary agreement for cooperating on emergency crude oil reserves earlier this year.

Published on October 28, 2020

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