Pushing Indian energy companies to become multinationals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday outlined a vision for creating energy corridors to the Middle-East, Central Asia and South Asia, saying stable and reasonably-priced energy is key to economic development.
The world’s third-largest energy consumer needs to raise domestic oil and gas production to cut imports as also establish partnership with regional energy powerhouses, he said while addressing the inaugural session of Petrotech conference here.
“Energy is a key driver of economic growth. Sustainable, stable and reasonably priced energy is essential for the fruits of economic development to reach the bottom of the pyramid,” he said. “On one hand, to meet the increasing demand, we need affordable and reliable sources of energy.
On the other, we must be sensitive towards the environment.”
The Prime Minister said hydrocarbons will continue to play an important part in India’s growth, but the country needs energy that is accessible to the poor as also efficiency in use and energy security.
“Energy in general and hydrocarbons in particular is an important part of my vision for India’s future,” he said adding that it rests on four pillars of energy access, efficiency, sustainability and security.
Stating that the country needs to increase domestic oil and gas production and reduce import dependence, he said, “I have set a target to reduce import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022. This will have to be achieved during the period of increasing oil consumption.”
Hardselling a strong, investment-friendly policy framework to boost domestic hydrocarbon production, Modi said a new hydrocarbon exploration and production policy has been introduced to provide for uniform licence for exploration and production for all forms of hydrocarbons, including shale oil and gas and coal bed methane.
This also covers open acreage policy allowing bidders to choose the acreage they wish to explore, revenue sharing model instead of profit sharing to reduce any scope for disputes and marketing and pricing freedom for crude oil and natural gas produced.
He attributed the USD 5.6 billion investment in Russian oilfields that will provide 15 million tons of equity oil equivalent, to a proactive foreign policy and energy diplomacy.
“I hope that our oil and gas sector companies will take the opportunity to tie up with their foreign counterparts to explore for more equity oil... Indian energy companies must become multinational and work towards India-Middle East, India-Central Asia, and India-South Asia energy corridors,” he exhorted.
He called on global hydrocarbon companies to come and Make in India. “Our constant efforts have improved India’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business. Let me assure you that our commitment is strong and our motto is to replace red tape with red carpet.”
Stating that hydrocarbons will remain the most important source of energy for many years to come, the Prime Minister said India is poised to account for one fourth of the incremental global energy demand between 2013 and 2040. It is expected to consume more oil in 2040 than the whole of Europe.
India, he said, is the world’s fastest-growing large economy today and is expected to grow five-fold by 2040.
Growth is supported by a series of policy measures that are “focussed on improving India’s long-term economic and social prospects rather than short-term headlines. Our efforts are showing results in terms of economic growth and development,” he said while asserting that manufacturing will account for 25 per cent of GDP by 2022 as against 16 per cent now.
For good measure, the Prime Minister put the spotlight on India’s resilience to global headwinds. “Apart from fast growth, our economy has also been more stable than most others. While the global economy is going through a period of uncertainty, India has shown tremendous resilience,” he said.