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‘India focusing on oil exploration to reduce import dependence’

At a time when the world is staring at a global energy crisis with oil and gas prices trading at elevated levels, India is focusing on oil exploration to reduce its import dependence for the fossil fuel, said Navneet Mohan Kothari, joint secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

Speaking at a CII conference on energy security, the official said emphasized on the need to protect the common man from the volatility in energy markets resulting from geopolitical events that are adversely affecting energy supply.

The statement gains significance as retail fuel prices in the country has remained unchanged since May 21 despite volatility in the global oil prices.

“The government is focusing on exploration so that India can reduce reliance on imports and insulate the country from effects in the energy sector arising from geopolitical situations,” a statement from CII quoted him as saying.

Last month, Centre opened up bidding for 26 blocks for oil exploration in the country. Boosting domestic exploration and production has been a major focus for the government as geopolitical tensions and price volatility impacts India as the country imports around 85% of its energy requirement.

Recently, union petroleum and natural gas minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Indian petroleum industry will be able to produce 25% of its crude oil demand by 2030.

Addressing the CII Energy Security Conference on Thursday, Prabhat Kumar, additional secretary, ministry of external affairs said that in order to become energy independent before the 2047, India should focus on self-sufficiency in all aspects of energy ecosystem including, storage, transportation, insurance and retailing of energy.

“We have to aim for self-sufficiency in as many aspects of the energy ecosystem as possible including exploration, storage, transportation, retailing of energy, insurance, other midstream and downstream activities,“ he said.

He observed that several global energy giants are not based out of countries which have rich energy reserves, but they excelled in other areas such as exploration, pipelines, retailing and other technologies.

“That’s the model for us to follow as well. Hydrocarbons should only be a small part of the energy economy that we are aiming to build,” Kumar added. He added that India should also develop storage capacities, not only in oil but also natural gas, that can help the country mitigate any energy crisis.
Source: Livemint

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