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Modi discusses post-pandemic world order for energy sector with top CEOs

The fourth annual meeting deliberated on demand scenario as well as ways to revive investment, particularly in oil and gas exploration and production, official sources said

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Narendra Modi | energy sector

Press Trust of India 

Narendra Modi
File Photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister on Monday brainstormed with global leaders on the post-pandemic world order and discussed strategies for accelerating investments in the oil and gas value chain.

The fourth annual meeting deliberated on demand scenario as well as ways to revive investment, particularly in oil and gas exploration and production, official sources said.

The meeting stretched beyond the allotted two hours as Modi engaged with the industry leaders to discuss reforms and future blueprint.

The meeting, held over a virtual platform, was attended by nearly two dozen top CEOs, including UK's BP Plc head Bernard Looney, French energy giant Total's Chairman Patrick Pouyanne and Russian oil major Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co CEO Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and Qatar Petroleum President Saad Sherida al-Kaabi also attended the meeting. The Indian side included Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Vedanta Resources head Anil Agarwal.

Oil cartel OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol and International Energy Forum Secretary-General Joseph Mc Monigle also attended the meet.

US LNG firm Tellurian CEO Charif Souki and Lyondell Basell Industries chief executive Bhavesh V Patel too participated in the meeting that also saw attendance from leading service providers such as Schlumberger and Baker Hughes.

India, the third-largest oil consumer and fourth-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer, is keen to accelerate investment across the oil and gas value chain, beginning with exploration and production to midstream pipelines and refineries and downstream retailing and last-mile connectivity to consumers.

Modi's first such meeting was on January 5, 2016, where suggestions for reforming natural gas prices were made. More than a year later, the government allowed higher natural gas prices for the yet-to-be-produced output in difficult areas like the deep sea.

Sources said this year's focus was on raising investments in domestic oil and gas exploration and production.

The government is looking at private investment to raise domestic oil and gas production, which has stagnated for the last few years while fuel demand has been rising by 5-6 per cent annually. India is dependent on imports to meet 85 per cent of its demand and more than half of its natural gas requirements.

The Prime Minister in 2015 had set a target of reducing India's oil dependence by 10 per cent to 67 per cent (based on import dependence of 77 per cent in 2014-15) by 2022. Import dependence has only increased since then and the government is now looking for ways to raise domestic output.

Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor made a presentation on an overview of the oil and gas sector at the meeting organised by Niti Aayog and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also spoke at the event.

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First Published: Mon, October 26 2020. 21:48 IST
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