PM Dangles $300 Bn Investment Opportunity Before Global Oil & Gas Majors

PM Dangles $300 Bn Investment Opportunity Before Global Oil & Gas Majors

The Union government says there will be investment opportunities worth $300 billion in the petroleum sector over the next 10 years.

In a three-hour meeting on Monday with global companies, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government sought further investments in the country’s oil and gas sector.

It highlighted new policies, including last week’s relief for petroleum exploration and production in the goods and services tax (GST) — the levy on offshore exploration, beyond 12 nautical miles, goes from the 18 per cent slab to the 12 per cent one. However, industry leaders say this is not such a big thing; exploration in this region was tax-free in the pre-GST era.

“Many participants strongly recommended the inclusion of gas and electricity in the GST framework,” went a government statement.

The meeting was attended by, among others, BP’s chief executive officer, Bob Dudley; Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H Naseer; Rosneft chief Igor Sechin; Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and Cairn India chairman Anil Agarwal.

The PM indicated there would soon be a comprehensive energy policy. Industry leaders said there was also a need to stabilise contract frameworks and arrangements, seismic data sets, encouragement for biofuels, improved gas supply and setting up of a gas hub. Regulatory issues also came for discussion.

Nearly 30 experts, including representatives from the International Gas Union, World Bank and International Energy Agency were present.

“We want investors, domestic and global, who can bring in the best technology and capital,” petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan told the group. He later said Modi urged more investments to have both vertical and horizontal growth in the sector.

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Addressing the Indian Energy Forum event later, Saudi Aramco chief Amin Naseer said of the PM’s request for investment, “By 2050, the Indian economy will be second only to China and we want to be present here.”

The meeting was coordinated by the Niti Aayog. Pradhan also told the industry leaders that policies would come to raise the share of gas in the energy basket from the present seven per cent to 15 per cent. “We are on track to achieve 175 Gw of renewable energ ycapacity by 2022. Gas-based power can play a big role in integrating renewables to the grid. We are planning a gas trading exchange and making sure there is open access to the gas grid,” he added.

The ongoing Open Acreage Licencing policy round is set to attract further investment in the sector. India has 26 sedimentary basins over 3.14 million sq km. Hydrocarbons are being produced in seven of these. In the new rounds, 2.7 million sq km will be on offer — 1.5 million onshore and 1.2 million offshore area. Bids are being invited on a revenue-share model, providing pricing and marketing freedom to operators. Read more

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