India in talks with global oil, gas majors for investments: Pradhan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 04, 2021

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan   -  The Hindu

OPEC production cuts a concern: Minister

Global oil and gas giants, including ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, and ADNOC, are exploring investments in India, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said.

“Some of the major global investors are very interested. BP, Total, and Shell are already in India,” Pradhan said on Thursday during the virtual event CeraWEEK by IHS Markit. “We’re talking to ExxonMobil. Aramco and ADNOC are scouting their possibility in India.”

Pradhan said Indian Oil and Exxon Mobil will set up a joint venture firm under the MoU signed recently to develop LNG as a long-haul transport fuel.

“We have planned to spend around $143 billion on energy infrastructure. India is consciously moving towards a gas-based economy: more LNG terminals, more reformist policy for more domestic gas production, more pipelines, CGD networks, more fertiliser plant revival, and more refineries,” Pradhan said.

The Minister criticised OPEC for production cuts that have raised crude prices and increased pressure on the central government to reduce excise duties on petrol and diesel.

“In May, we were supportive of production cut because there was no demand. At that point of time, the producing countries, especially OPEC, assured the global market that by the beginning of 2021 demand will come back and production will be as usual. But the production is yet to be normal by what they had promised,” Pradhan said, adding that snowstorm in the US has also affected supply.

Demand has been normalised, especially in developing Asian countries, Pradhan said. “If you don’t supply properly, if there is an artificial gap in demand and supply, then there will be price rise. It may suit some of our friends, but in emerging countries like India, when our fiscal scope is very challenging, and we have to spend on development projects, at that point of time we need a reasonable price of energy.”

“If somebody will push me then I’ll be cornered and look towards a new path and alternative energy,” he said.

Published on March 04, 2021

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