With India expected to become world's third largest energy consumer by 2020, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said adequate energy supply at affordable price is critical for economic growth.
Speaking at Petrotech 2014 Conference, he said India, which is currently world's seventh largest energy producer accounting for 2.5 % of world's total annual energy production, "needs to increase its energy supply by 3 to 4 times over the next two decades".
Stating that India seeks clean and affordable energy, he said: "Adequate supply of energy at affordable prices is critical to our economic growth."
As India configures its policy framework to get back to the high growth rate trajectory, the development of energy sector and oil and gas exploration space must be given particular attention, he said.
With India importing 79 % of its oil needs and half its gas requirement, Singh said there was a need to bridge the ever-increasing gap between demand and domestic supply.
"With this in mind, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the framework of a stable and enabling policy environment," Singh said.
Stating that the government was pursuing options to achieve energy security, he said a number of changes in energy policy regime in the last few months have been made.
The Prime Minister called for partnerships with global giants to source technology and produce oil and gas from difficult fields.
"The global oil and gas industry today requires new technologies and processes, innovative thinking and creative business models to meet emerging challenges. The best way of achieving these ends is through partnerships.
"Such partnerships could result in outcomes like improved recovery from mature fields, exploitation of ultra-deep water energy reserves and progress in complex frontier areas. They could also help in exploitation of unconventional forms of energy, apart from addressing concerns about environmental degradation and climate change," the Prime Minister said.
India, he said, is committed to reducing its carbon footprint as a responsible member of the global community.
Stating that the challenge of achieving high economic growth and yet reducing emissions was formidable, Singh said the country needs to work on demand management, energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.
It also requires focused R&D initiatives, the Prime Minister said.