India's PM Narendra Modi Calls for Fresh Look at Country's Petroleum Sector

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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for a fresh look at the country's petroleum sector to address rising domestic consumption.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a fresh look at the petroleum sector as the government looked for solutions to address increasing energy consumption in the South Asian country following a meeting with top officials of supermajors such as BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc as well as the International Energy Agency (IEA) Tuesday.

Modi "emphasized his vision for a fresh look at the sector, to bring in investment, technological upgradation, and development of human resource," a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said about the two hour meeting, which was also attended by the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley and the Minister for Power Piyush Goyal.

According to PMO, the discussions were "focused on subjects such as increasing the share of gas in India’s energy mix, fresh investment in oil and gas exploration in India, regulatory frameworks, international acquisition of oil and gas assets, emerging areas such as shale gas and coal-bed methane, and the oil and gas sector related possibilities of 'Make in India'”.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that petroleum and other liquids accounted for around 22 percent of India's energy mix in 2012, while natural gas made up 7 percent of domestic demand.

BP CEO Bob Dudley was present at the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, local daily The Economic Times reported Wednesday.

India is one of the world's fastest growing oil and gas market, with the country already a large importer of hydrocarbons. In 2014, India produced 0.895 million barrels of oil per day (MMbopd) while consuming 3.846 MMbopd. At the same time, its natural gas production stood at 1.12 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) or 31.7 billion cubic meters (Bcm), far below its domestic demand of 1.79 Tcf (50.6 Bcm).

The Indian government has been working on ways to raise domestic oil and gas exploration and production and needs greater participation of foreign expertise and finance to meet this objective. The Economic Times said the Indian authorities is preparing a new exploration policy that will make it easier for companies to participate in the auction of hydrocarbon reserves and will make the entire process more transparent.

Meanwhile, state-owned Petronet LNG Ltd. -- an importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and tasked by the government to set up set up LNG terminals in India -- disclosed in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange Monday its plans to start consultancy services and training in human resource capability related to the LNG industry.

Petronet LNG said in the filing that the firm planned "to promote, organize or carry on business of consultancy services and training including consultancy and training in human resource capability building or any field of activity in which the Company is engaged in or connected therewith either on its own or through collaboration or Joint Venture."

The company currently operates India's first LNG receiving and regasification terminal at Dahej, Gujarat, and another terminal at Kochi, Kerala, while constructing a third terminal at Gangavaram, Andhra Pradesh.

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