India urges responsible, reasonable oil pricing

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday exhorted oil producing nations to bring in “responsible and reasonable” pricing of the hydrocarbon that will be sustainable and a win-win proposition for Asian buyers.

“I believe that an opportune time has now come when this ‘energy poverty’ must give way to ‘energy justice’. In order to do so, the oil suppliers must make earnest efforts for a responsible and reasonable pricing which will be sustainable,” Pradhan said at the plenary session of the 6th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable at Doha in Qatar.

“I think everybody here would agree that going forward, the crude oil price needs to be more of a win-win proposition for Asian buyers, rather than the economic compulsion it is presently reduced to,” he said, according to an Indian petroleum ministry statement here.

While India recognizes the need to ensure that producing nations are not made to suffer uncertainties and revenue loss owing to wild swings in oil prices, consuming nations like India wish to have greater transparency and balance in the oil market, Pradhan said.

“Large crude importing Asian countries like India can be very reliable destination for oil exports provided the price is reasonable,” the minister said.

“People and policy makers in a developing economy like India find it unjust and unacceptable that reliable and large importers like India pay higher for crude import than the developed Western economies. In a more reasonable market, it should be the other way round and India should be getting an ‘Asian Dividend’,” he added.

“I strongly feel that the buyer-seller relationship between the large buyers and large sellers needs to be transformed to energy partnerships. They should link their hydrocarbon economies by developing mutual investment linkages. This will lead to a more stable oil market,” Pradhan said.

India’s crude import bill has spiralled in recent years, from $112.1 billion in 2010-11 to $155.7 billion in 2013-14.

India’s total energy consumption at 637.8 MTOE (million tons of oil equivalent) during 2014, compared to 595.7 MTOE during 2013, grew by more than 7 percent, which was among the highest growth rates during the year.

“This is more than one third of total energy consumption growth during the year at global level,” he said.

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2014, India’s oil demand growth between 2013 and 2040 would be the highest in the world – with a compound annual growth rate of 3.5 percent, which is almost double of the next highest growth rate.

Pradhan also invited the Asian ministers to invest in India’s oil and gas sector including in upstream exploration, gas and LNG infrastructure, refining, fuel retailing and marketing, strategic reserves building and oil field services, among others.

“Within next four months, we will auction about 67 proven marginal fields in India. I would welcome your investment in it,” he said.

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