As part of its energy planning — especially on the oil and gas front — India has been actively looking at its neighbors in the past few months for support and supply.
Besides Russia, the other countries India is looking to for fulfilling its energy requirements is the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
On a visit of the U.A.E. earlier in the week, Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas and minister of steel, met his U.A.E. counterpart,Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazroui, and a host of other leaders from the region for talks on energy.
Pradhan also addressed the opening session of the 8th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Addressing the delegates at this conference, the Indian minister said he was sure that the shift in global energy consumption to Asia would be a reality soon.
Anticipating that, he said it is necessary for the change to be “rooted in energy justice,” a very important component of the energy vision of the present Indian government, the Orissa Diary reported.
He forecast that within the next two decades, Asia would be driving global economic growth, meaning developing economies would drive 80% of incremental global growth. India and China would be in the driver’s seat, accounting for more than half of that growth, he argued.
Thus, he said, it is imperative that low income, low per capita energy-consuming countries have access to technology and capital for their energy efficiency and clean tech plans. In turn, that access would provide better energy security than short-term interventions in fossil fuel supply and price, he said.
India’s energy vision, he explained, is based on four pillars: energy access, energy efficiency, energy sustainability and energy security. Energy justice was a major objective of this plan, he added, for which India had undertaken many initiatives.
India’s per capita consumption of energy is quite low compared with the global average. Pradhan said the Indian government is trying to improve the country’s energy supply to rectify the disparity.
India is the third-largest energy consumer in the world, with its share of total global primary energy demand set to double to 11% by 2040.
India has already laid down over 16,000 kilometers of gas pipeline and an additional 11,000 kilometers is under construction. The country is also aiming to produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, with a solar target of 100 GW by 2022.
On his visit, Pradhan met Al Mazroui here and discussed ways of strengthening bilateral hydrocarbon engagement between the two countries.
India wants the U.A.E.’s increased participation in Phase II of India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Program coming up in India’s Odisha and Karnataka provinces, Sify reported (the U.A.E. is already a partner in Phase I).
According to news agency ANI, on Sept. 9, Pradhan met his Saudi counterpart Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman in Jeddah and discussed ways to boost energy ties between the countries.
Significantly, just a week prior to the minister’s Gulf visit, it was announced on a visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia that a consortium of Indian companies led by state player ONGC Videsh would acquire a 49% stake in Russia’s Vankor cluster oilfields, Oil and Gas Eurasia reported.
Modi Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the deal as part of a wider range of investment agreements signed at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. It is worth noting the agreement comes after over three years of protracted negotiations with Russia. With this agreement in place, India is set to become a strategic player in this sector in the Arctic region.