India must overcome tech challenges in oil finds: Aiyar

New Delhi, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:30am hrs
India can become Norway of the 21st century on the back of recent oil and gas finds, but it has to overcome horrendous technological and managerial problems to access hidden hydrocarbon reserves, former petroleum minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Friday.

Norway used technological innovations in the last century to find hydrocarbon reserves in North Sea to transform itself from a poor nation to a prosperous country, Aiyar, who is currently minister of Panchayati Raj, said at the valedictory function of the Petrotech oil and gas conference here.

We can become Norway of the 21st century or Saudi Arabia of the second half of 21st century if we are able to access hidden hydrocarbon resources, he said, adding the recent finds had proved that India was not under-endowed.

Aiyar said India was a hydrocarbon rich country, but some discoveries both in onshore and offshore areas posed horrendous technological and managerial problems.

However, there was no dearth of genuine intellectual capability in the country and it needs to be applied to extract hydrocarbons trapped in the Deccan Plateau and ultra deep sea, he said.

Consolidate and strengthen, widen and diversify the knowledge base of the country, he said, while emphasising on the need to look at commercialising technology for gas hydrates and hydrogen fuel.