New Policies to usher in large foreign investments in oil & gas sector : Indian Petroleum Minister

Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurating the India pavilion, at 21st World Petroleum Congress,
Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurating the India pavilion, at 21st World Petroleum Congress,

By TN Ashok / Energy Editor

New Delhi, June 17, 2014 :  Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today told the World Petroleum Congress in Moscow that the Modi government would draft new policies to attract larger foreign investments in the oil and gas sector.

The Minister said the government was in the process of bringing out amendments to existing policies and also usher in new policies so as to bring in large investments in the oil and gas sector as there was an urgent need to hasten the process of exploration and production in the country.

India is putting on offer the expertise of the Indian National Oil Companies for exploration and production activities overseas, the minister said adding that more than US $21 billion has been invested by these companies overseas. The government’s priority is to put in place a transparent system and time-bound delivery of Government services.

“Creation of a policy environment which is predictable, transparent and fair would be a very important action, he said adding the motto is “Minimum Government & Maximum Governance”.

A presentation was made on India’s oil & gas sector in which the proposed policy changes, including bringing in a uniform licensing policy to facilitate E & P operators to work on a single policy regime, was outlined. It was also informed that the next round of auctioning of Oil & Gas blocks will be done with all necessary statutory clearances which will de-risk the exploration activities to some extent. More than 1, 48,000 sq. km. have been identified for auction under NELP X.

The Minister earlier held bilateral meetings with the Deputy Minister of Energy of Colombia, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, the Minister of Oil & Gas of Kazakhstan, Minister of Oil & Gas of Algeria, and Minister of Oil & Gas Trinidad & Tobago. The deliberations were held on specific issues in a spirit of mutual engagement and cooperation.

India, the minister told them was at a critical stage of development and the new government led by Narendra Modi is giving it the much needed impetus for further growth. India today consumes 4.5% of World’s Primary Energy and is in 4th position globally and hence it is imperative that all steps are taken to facilitate the availability of energy for every single person thereby ensuring inclusive growth.