Global energy major BP Plc on Monday batted for natural gas’ inclusion within the ambit of the goods and services tax (GST). Reiterating its commitment to the Indian market, the firm also said it would create 80,000 jobs here over the next four-five years.
Addressing the India Energy Forum meet by CERAWeek, the company's Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney said, “GST has been a very welcome federal initiative to ease trade in India. We believe it would make sense to incorporate gas in that.”
The company said it feels the government is committed to making it easier to do business in India. Looney also welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of shifting to a gas-based economy and indicated that steps like unifying pipeline tariff and setting up the first gas exchange are positive.
India is looking to increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix from a mere 6 per cent to around 15 per cent in the next few years. The firm said it will create 80,000 jobs in India by increasing fuel retail outlets, along with Reliance, to 5,500 in four to five years.
Looney added that coal, which constituted over 50 per cent of the energy mix, will reduce to 40 per cent soon as the share of renewables and natural gas increases, which it expects to rise from around 20 per cent to 70 per cent by 2050.
Globally, BP is going through a transition, focusing on the resilient hydrocarbons business, low carbon electricity segment and convenience in mobility. Looney said India is a vital market for the company in all three segments. “In resilient hydrocarbons, we have a joint venture with Reliance Industries, in low carbon business, too, we have marked our presence and convenience in mobility India is going to be the fastest-growing mobility and fuels market for the next 20 years,” he said.
Echoing Looney, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanné added that India is one of the largest markets for energy. He said the country has huge potential with a dynamic young population and the company is optimistic about its liquefied natural gas market. Pouyanné said the LNG market here is set to grow 5 per cent year in the coming years. He added that with the intention of growing here, the company has already bought a stake in Adani Gas and is well placed in the compressed natural gas, LNG, and renewables segments.