Modi calls for responsible pricing of oil and gas, transparent markets

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering the inaugural address at Petrotech 2019, in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh on February 11, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering the inaugural address at Petrotech 2019, in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh on February 11, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the world needed to move to responsibile pricing of oil and gas, which balances the interests of both the producer and consumer, and also towards transparent and flexible markets for the two commodities.
"Only then can we serve the energy needs of humanity in an optimal manner," he said in his inaugural address at Petrotech 2019, the 13th International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition at Greater Noida, near here, in Uttar Pradesh. "For too long, the world has seen crude prices on a roller-coaster."
The event, India's flagship hydrocarbons conference, has been organised under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Modi said another key issue that needs the world to come together is climate change. "Together, we can achieve the targets we set for ourselves at COP-21 in Paris. India has made rapid strides in meeting its commitment. We are on our way to reaching the target," he said.
Energy Ministers and top officials from more than 60 countries are attending the event that will feature more than 80 speakers and has about 7000 delegates, , including technologists, scientists, planners, policy-makers, management experts, entrepreneurs, service-providers and vendors.
The event is an opportunity for India to schowcase the market and investor friendly developments that have taken place in recent times in its oil and gas sector.
Modi noted that, over the last quarter century, Petrotech had served as a platform to discuss solutions to challenges that the world faces in the energy sector.
"In each of our respective countries, we seek to deliver affordable, efficient, clean and assured energy supplies to our citizens. The presence of over sixty countries and seven thousand delegates here, is a reflection of that common quest," he said.
The Prime Minister said that several decades of public life had convinced him that energy is a key driver of socio-economic growth. "Suitably priced, stable and sustainable energy supply, is essential for rapid growth of the economy. It also helps the poor and deprived sections of society, to partake of economic benefits," he said.
"At the macro level, the energy sector is a pivot and key enabler of growth," he stressed.
"As we gather here to discuss the present and future of global energy, winds of change are evident in the global energy arena. Energy supply, energy sources and energy consumption patterns are changing. Perhaps, this could be a historic transition.
 "There is a shift in energy consumption from West to East. The United States has become the world’s largest oil and gas producer after the shale revolution. 
"Solar energy and other renewable sources of energy have become more competitive. They are emerging as sustainable substitutes for traditional energy forms. Natural gas is fast becoming one of the largest fuels in the global energy mix.
"There are signs of convergence, between cheaper renewable energy, technologies, and digital applications. This may expedite the achievement of many sustainable development goals.
"Nations are coming together to tackle climate change. This is visible in global partnerships, such as the International Solar Alliance, promoted by India and France," he said.
Modi said that the world was entering an era of greater energy availability but more than a billion people across the globe still did not have access to electricity. Many more do not have access to clean cooking fuel, he said.
"India has taken a lead in addressing these issues of energy access. In our success, I see hope for the world that problems of energy availability can be suitably addressed. People must have universal access to clean, affordable, sustainable and equitable supply of energy. India’s contribution in the onset of an era based on energy justice is significant.
"Currently, India is the fastest growing large economy in the world. Leading agencies such as IMF and World Bank, project the same trend to continue in the coming years. In an uncertain global economic environment, India has shown tremendous resilience as an anchor of the world economy," he said.
Modi said India recently became the sixth largest economy in the world. According to a recent report, by 2030, India could be the second largest world economy. 
"We are also the third largest energy consumer in the world, with demand growing at more than five percent annually. India remains an attractive market for energy companies with energy demand expected to more than double by 2040.
"We have adopted an integrated approach towards energy planning. During the last Petrotech conference in December 2016, I mentioned four pillars for India’s energy future. These are energy access, energy efficiency, energy sustainability and energy security," he said.
The Prime Minister said energy justice was also a key objective for him, and a top priority for India. Towards this end, the Government had developed and implemented many policies. The results of these efforts are now evident., he said.
He went on to detail the government's achievements in areas such as rural electrification, reduction of transmission and distribution losses, access to clean cooking fuel, clean transportation, and so on.
"The last five years have seen major reforms in India’s oil and gas sector. We have revamped our upstream policies and regulations. We have launched the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy to bring transparency and competitiveness in the sector.
"The bidding criterion has been changed to revenue sharing. This has helped reduce government intervention. An Open Acreage Licensing Policy and a National Data Repository is helping to increase exploration interest in Indian fields," he said.
Modi said gas pricing reforms have also been introduced. The Enhanced Oil Recovery Policy aims to promote the use of latest technology in improving productivity of upstream fields, he said.
He referred to steps such as liberalization of the downstream sector, market driven petrol and diesel prices, the National Biofuel Policy, private sector participation and boosting of foreign direct investment (FDI).
"India is becoming an attractive FDI destination. Companies like Saudi Aramco, ADNOC, TOTAL, Exxon-Mobil, BP and Shell are looking to increase their investments across the value chain," he said.
He also spoke about the progress made towards a gas-based economy, including the construction of a network of pipelines and setting up of City Gas Distribution projects.
"We are gearing up for Industry 4.0. This will change the way industry operates, with new technology and processes. Our companies are adopting latest technologies to improve efficiency, increase safety and reduce costs. This is being done in downstream retail, as well as in upstream oil and gas production, asset maintenance and remote monitoring.
"In recent years, we have deepened our international engagement with organizations such as the International Energy Agency, and OPEC. We chaired the International Energy Forum from 2016 to 2018. We have been able to convert our traditional buyer-seller engagements into strategic partnerships through bilateral investments. We have also promoted our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy by strengthening energy engagement with Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar.
"I have regularly engaged with global CEOs from the oil and gas sector. In my interactions with world leaders and CEOs, I have always maintained that Oil and Gas are not only a commodity of trade but also of necessity. Whether it is for the kitchen of a common man or for an aircraft, energy is essential.
"Petrotech provides the perfect setting to ponder over the future of the energy sector. It is a good platform to reflect on how global shifts, transitions, policies and new technologies will influence market stability and future investments in the sector," he added.

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