As the world’s third largest energy consumer working towards becoming a gas-based economy, India is emerging as a destination where global oil and gas companies meet to explore long-term business opportunities.
Energy ministers and industry executives from more than 50 countries are expected to pursue deals across the hydrocarbon value chain at a three-day global conference to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
While New Delhi will explore overseas hydrocarbon assets, oil and gas procurement deals and opportunities for export of finished petroleum products, oil exporting countries participating in the conference, especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are expected to seek greater market access in India, said an executive with a state-owned Indian company.
The Indian government is expecting more than $100 billion investments in the oil and gas sector by 2030.
Energy ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar will meet top government officials including finance minister Arun Jaitley, road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, power minister Piyush Goyal, railway minister Suresh Prabhu and several chief ministers during the Petrotech 2016 conference in the national capital.
“India has emerged as a new engine of global growth and it stands out among the emerging economies. The story of Indian oil and gas sector is a story of interdependence, with 81% of our oil requirement and about 37% of gas requirement being imported. India has acquired hydrocarbon assets in 25 countries," Pradhan said in a statement.
The government’s steps to increase the share of environmentally friendly natural gas in the country’s energy mix has boosted investor interest in deep water exploration. However, laying of pipelines, a pre-requisite for investments in gas, is still dominated by state-run companies such as Gail (India) Ltd with assistance from the exchequer.
Sashi Mukundan, head of country, India, BP Group, said on 16 August that oil and gas companies will invest about Rs2.5-3 trillion in India over the next few years to produce around 10-15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That estimate is based partly on concrete investment commitments of individual companies and partly on projections.