Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has asked oil producing nations to price crude oil at “reasonable” levels to ensure availability of fuel to Indians at affordable rates. Addressing a plenary session on ‘Supply and Demand Challenges for Oil, Gas and Products’ at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, he said the rising middle class of emerging Asian countries like India will drive the demand for energy both in terms of electricity and cooking, and transportation fuel. As incomes rise, demand for petrochemicals – raw materials for several lifestyle products – will also increase, an official statement quoted him as saying.
Giving example of India, he said the energy consumption is expected to almost double by 2035. India, the world’s third largest consumer of crude oil, is the only country where the demand will continue to rise for more than a decade, he said. “He flagged the importance of ‘responsible price’ for crude oil for countries like India which would allow it to provide energy to the common people,” the statement said.
The minister also underlined that in today’s over supplied market, it is important for producers to understand the perspective of consumers and demand centres and the changes that have taken place in these demand centres. Like security of supplies is important for consumers, security of demand too is important for producers, he added. Later, the minister launched an event on Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) as a part of promoting the upcoming oil and gas bidding rounds in India.
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India on July 1 opened 2.8 square km of its sedimentary basins for oil and gas exploration to domestic and overseas investors to increase production and cut excessive dependence on imports. Under the new policy, any company can access data related to India’s hydrocarbon reserves and submit bids for any area it wants to explore. Open Acreage Licensing policy, as it is called, allows investors to select blocks after studying seismic data available from National Depository Data, without waiting for a formal bid round from the oil ministry.
It promises market prices for oil and gas discovered and produced as well as an investor-friendly revenue sharing regime. The event was attended by BP CEO Bob Dudley, IHS Markit vice president Daniel Yergin, IEA executive director Fatih Birol and IEF secretary general Sun Xianseng.