India is progressively pursuing other options to achieve energy security, said the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday while addressing the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit here. “One of these is the acquisition of energy assets in other countries. I congratulate GAIL, ONGC Videsh Ltd., and other companies for their efforts in this direction. These will not only help us in securing new supplies of energy, but also in acquisition of the latest technological know-how,” Dr. Singh said
He further stated that India needs to increase its energy supply by three to four times within next two decades. “It currently ranks as the world’s seventh largest energy producer, accounting for just about 2.5 per cent of the world’s total annual energy production, while it is the (world’s) fourth largest energy consumer. With oil and gas constituting around 41 per cent of India’s primary energy consumption, India is expected to be the third largest energy consumer by the year 2020,” Dr. Singh said.
“To bridge this gap between supply and demand, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore our onshore and offshore regions. I take this opportunity to assure investors of our government’s commitment to providing a stable and enabling policy environment for exploration of new sources of energy,” he added.
Describing the summit as a unique platform in the area of energy, the Prime Minister recalled the humble beginnings of the conference ten years ago, and said that credit for the participation of several leading oil and gas companies of the world should go to the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Natural gas, he said, is the fuel of choice today, and has become increasingly important as a source of energy in the Indian context. “There are a variety of reasons for this including environmental concerns, the need for fuel diversification, energy prices and market deregulation,” Dr. Singh said. “The natural gas sector has undergone a sea change in recent years in the global context as well. Rapid growth in the production of shale gas in the United States has opened possibilities of similar success in other parts of the world. The technological and economic possibilities that the shale gas revolution has opened up are likely to further change the global energy landscape in the years to come,” he added.
“There will be new producers, new consumers and new trading arrangements that will come into place. We too are hopeful that we will be fortunate in discovering shale gas reserves in our country as well,” Dr. Singh said. He further said that the shale gas revolution has been made possible primarily because of two factors – technology and market-based pricing. “This is a combination that is essential to provide rapidly growing economies like ours with energy solutions commensurate with our needs,” the Prime Minister said.
“Asia has been the driver of the global LNG demand. It accounts now for around 70% of all LNG traded globally. It is projected that Asia will continue to occupy the same share in global LNG demand which is likely to grow to two to three times the current levels by the year 2020,” he added. “I am sure the summit will help in finding creative solutions leading to stronger partnerships between buyers in Asia and international sellers,” he said.
He urged summit participants to acquire insight of the exciting opportunities in India and other emerging markets of Asia for partnerships for joint investments in areas like gas pipeline development, LNG terminals, petrochemicals, gas trading hubs and city gas distribution.