India will do all that is required to ensure energy security: Puri

Jaipur: Reacting to the decision of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production by two million barrels per day, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said India will do all that is required to ensure its energy security and affordability.

He said if required, India will go for diversification of energy sources.

"This is their (OPEC's) sovereign right what they want to do but equally it is my job to point out that all actions have consequences, intended or unintended. India will be able to navigate through the situation with confidence," the petroleum and natural gas minister said at GEO India 2022 conference here. "We will not allow any shortages to come in. The government will do all that is required to ensure energy security and affordability," he said.

Puri said as per the estimate of the sector, consumption of fuel will increase and 25 per cent of the global demand in next 20 years will be from India.

Therefore, he said, the prime minister took the decision to open up exploration and production sector. "We have diversified the sources from where we source energy and will diversify it further," he said.

The minister said going by the import statistics of the last six months, Saudi Arabia was number one supplier and then Iraq became the second largest supplier but India has the autonomy to take its decision. "We will take our decisions and we will not hesitate to diversify."

On October 5, the OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries decided to sharply cut production to support sagging oil prices, a move that could deal the global economy a heavy blow.

It was decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November.

The oil minister further said that Ethanol-blended petrol is likely to be available in the country from December or January, ahead of the April 2023 target.

"We are constantly reviewing the ethanol production and I believe, 20 per cent blended fuel would come in the market in December or January ahead of April 2023 (target)," he told reporters here.

Citing the example of Brazil where flex-fuel vehicles are available and the consumer can take ethanol or petrol as per choice, he said that this will be the ultimate goal of the government. However, to reach that stage, certain technical aspects are there and work is going on. "We are going to hold a major meeting with automobile manufacturers on ethanol blending," he said.

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