Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hardeep Singh Puri says crucial for India to increase area under exploration, production

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  • ‘Our future lies in the need to increase exploration and production’
  • ‘It is our intention to increase the area under exploration and production from 25,000 sq km to 50,000 sq km’

New Delhi: In the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri has stressed on the need for India to increase the area under exploration and production (E&P) to ensure its energy security. Addressing the North-East Zonal Conference for PM GatiShakti (PMGS) in Guwahati on Monday, Puri said, “Our future lies in the need to increase exploration and production. It is our intention to increase the area under E&P from 25,000 sq km to 50,000 sq km.”

While mentioning the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine in passing, the minister said that apart from the developments taking place in Ukraine, India is a growing economy whose energy needs are slated to grow and it is imperative for the country to increase the area under E&P to ensure that the dependence on imports goes down. “Why is it important that we increase our exploration and production? Quite apart from the developments taking place in Ukraine, the fact of the matter is that we are a growing economy. Our per capita consumption of energy is one-third of the global average. But it is growing. Currently, we have 85 percent dependence on imports for crude and 50 percent for gas. And I think the greatest service we can do for our economy is to increase the area under exploration and production, which we have regrettably neglected in the previous decades.”

OIL’s gas production to go up by 89 percent in next 4 years: Puri

While terming Assam and other North-East states as the key to ensuring India’s energy security, Puri commended the performance of Oil India Ltd (OIL) in the region. “Yesterday I reviewed Oil India Ltd’s performance. And I was very happy to find that their crude oil production is projected to go up by about 48 percent and natural gas production is projected to go up by 89 percent in the next four years,” said the minister.

Puri said that the petroleum sector will play a crucial role in the North East region’s industrial growth. He said that oil production from NER is expected to increase by 67 percent from 4.11 MMT in 2020-21 to 6.85 MMT in the next four years. Puri added that the area under exploration in the region is going to double in near future, with crude production expected to go up by 45 percent in four years, and gas production by about 90 percent in the same period.

PM GatiShakti inflection point in India’s history: Puri 

Terming PM GatiShakti as an inflection point in the history of India, Puri said that it aims to drive down logistics costs in India by streamlining and integrating infrastructure projects of various Central and state governments. He said that through this breakthrough master plan, major projects across sectors like petroleum, railways, highways, utilities etc will share a unified vision for accelerated and efficient execution.

“We will be able to bring synergies between multi-modal transportation, logistics and supply chain, urban development, ports and utilities and services to bring about a transformation in both Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business. Indian goods and services will move on an express lane and Indian industry will be able to match the export capabilities of manufacturing hubs like China, Taiwan and South Korea,” he said. 

“PM GatiShakti will ensure multimodal connectivity. For instance, fresh fruits grown in the North East India will swiftly cater to consuming markets and Gulf,” the minister said.

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