Taking steps to reduce energy import dependence : Deora

Taking steps to reduce energy import dependence : Deora

New Delhi:The government is aggressively pushing for exploration of conventional oil and gas and has also initiated steps to tap shale gas to reduce the country’s import dependence, oil minister Murli Deora said on Sunday.

“India launched its 9th New Exploration Licensing Policy (auction) this month offering 34 blocks, covering approximately 88,000 sq km (for exploration of hydrocarbons)," he said while inaugurating the Petrotech-2010 exhibition in New Delhi.

The previous eight licensing rounds since 1999 have resulted in the enhancement of exploration coverage of the Indian sedimentary basin from 11% to 58%.

“We have also initiated the process to tap shale gas (non-conventional fuel trapped in sedimentary rocks) to reduce the energy demand gap," he said.

India imports 75% of its crude oil requirement. “Therefore, it is important that Indian sedimentary basin may be explored vigorously to bridge this gap," he said.

“There is a huge tract of Indian sedimentary areas which is unexplored, creating opportunities for global players to venture in this sector."

Deora said the government is creating strategic oil and gas reserves as insurance against supply disruptions. Underground crude oil storages are being built at Vizag, in Andhra Pradesh, and Mangalore, in Karnataka, which will hold sufficient reserves to cover the nation’s requirement for 15 days.

The theme of the three-day Petrotech-2010 oil and gas conference, “Global Energy Equilibrium", is aimed at capturing different facets of the energy chain for achieving sustainable development and ecological balance, Deora said.

This year, more than 300 companies, including many global energy majors, are showcasing their expertise and specialties at the hydrocarbon exhibition.

“It is also heartening to note that 10 country pavilions of Russia, Malaysia, Canada, China, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Holland, Denmark, UAE and Indonesia have been set up. This shows the success of the Petrotech-2010 event," he said.