Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has urged US companies to enhance their participation in the country’s oil & gas sector. Noting that though there were a few collaborative efforts between Indian and American companies in the sector, it was way below the existing potential.
On Wednesday, Pradhan, along with the US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, co-chaired industry-level interaction, organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC). The minister had also separately chaired an industry-level interaction organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISF) on Tuesday. Both meetings were held in the run-up to the second ministerial meeting of the ‘India and US Strategic Energy Partnership’, scheduled on July 17.
Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Tarun Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Sandhu, representatives of various energy-related Ministries of the US and Indian governments, and representatives from Indian and US companies also took part in the virtual meeting.
During these interactions, minister Pradhan invited US companies and investors to engage and invest in new opportunities in India. He said that though there were a few collaborative efforts between Indian and American companies in this sector, it was way below their potential. He noted the resilience of the US-India Energy Partnership and characterised it as one of the most durable pillars on which India-US strategic partnership rested.
Pradhan said that even during these challenging times, India and the US had been working in close collaboration, be it in stabilising global energy markets or in collaborative efforts to address COVID-19. He said, “In today’s turbulent world, one constant is – and always will be – the strength of our bilateral partnership.”
Talking about the Strategic Energy Partnership, the minister said that cooperation in the natural gas sector had been identified as a priority area. Pradhan mentioned several upcoming new opportunities in the field of liquified natural gas (LNG) bunkering, LNG ISO container development, petrochemicals, bio-fuels, and compressed biogas in the Indian energy sector.
Pradhan also mentioned the far-reaching changes and policy reforms underway in the exploration & production sector in India. He said that India would see an investment of over $118 billion in oil & gas exploration as well as in setting up natural gas infrastructure, including the development of gas supply and distribution networks in the next five years as the country, prepared to meet the needs of a fast-growing economy.
The minister invited greater participation from the US companies during the next Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) and Discovered Small Fields (DSF) bid rounds. Describing the industry roundtables as timely, he said that the deliberations here would serve as useful inputs.