India wants partnerships in oil and gas exploration

Sep 28, 2005 02:00 AM

Offering itself as an attractive investment destination, India has called on other countries to partner it in the development of oil and gas resources to meet the rising global energy demands.
Speaking at a country presentation at the 18th World Petroleum Congress, India's Petroleum Secretary Sushil Chandra Tripathi and Additional Secretary for International Cooperation Talmiz Ahmad urged cooperation in the interests of all parties.

They said a number of presentations by representatives of the major oil and gas companies in India highlighted the advantages that the country had to offer, including up to five decades of experience and a huge pool of knowledge and skills. Tripathi explained to delegates from more than 50 countries the progress made on the policy front to ease access for foreigners wanting to invest in India.
"The oil and gas industry in India, the forerunner in petroleum policy development, has through de-licensing, liberalisation and dismantling of the administered pricingmechanisms, and opened up to global players. Today, the state-owned and private companies operate on a level playing field. The policy framework has been so designed to attract more industry players, offer a competitive fiscal regime, and provide sufficient access to the market," said Tripathi.

The secretary spelt out the various oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation projects in several countries in which India was involved.
"India is actively taking part in international exploration and production of oil and gas and in partnering development in the hydrocarbon sector. Our companies have a presence in several oil and gas rich countries and are taking up exploration and production, construction of refineries, and creation of infrastructure," he said.

Talmiz Ahmad, reacting to a delegate's questions about China's competitiveness, said India did not view China as a competitor, rather the two countries complemented each other in the global economy. He said the Indian delegation had very fruitful discussions with their Chinese counterparts on the sidelines of the Congress.
The veteran diplomat was quite firm when a journalist suggested that India had "lost out" to China in a recent bid in South America.
"We did not lose out," he said. "India makes a bid based on the potential and withdraws if anyone else sees it differently based on their assessment."

Ahmed also emphasised the importance that India attached to the African continent. Besides the established relationship with countries such as Egypt and Sudan in North Africa and Nigeria in West Africa, discussions for collaboration in the energy sector had been initiated with Angola in southern Africa, he said.
He said details would be announced in a few months time at a proposed India-Africa conclave on oil and gas to be held in India, to which the ministers of every oil-producing country in Africa would be invited.

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