New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised to the investors of energy sector to provide a “stable and enabling environment” for exploration of new sources of fuel for the energy-hungry nation.
India is expected to be the third largest energy consumer by 2020. In present it imports about 80 percent of its oil resources and half of its natural gas too.
In order to fulfill India’s energy needs, the government is encouraging domestic and global companies to explore onshore and offshore regions, Singh said.
“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 said.
India’s government has made energy security one of its national priorities. But the issues of regulatory uncertainties, delays in clearances, and lack of infrastructure made the investors to back out.
Some global energy companies, deterred by red tape, have reduced their presence in India.
India, currently the world’s seventh largest energy producer, “needs to increase its energy supply by three-to-four times within the next two decades,” Singh said.
lndia, China, Japan and Korea, which are among the leading energy consumers, “can forge a alliance to get favourable pricing from natural gas suppliers in the Gulf and elsewhere,” Moily said.
“Prices offered by the same seller to Europe and Asia vary greatly, beyond business considerations,” he said.
One of the reasons for what Moily called the “Asian premium” in prices could be that Asian markets lack a platform to transparently trade natural gas or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Asian buyers, he said, “will have to emerge united in their approach. Large Asian buyers coming together may negotiate from a position of strength,” he said.