Saudi Arabia Hails PM Modi, Commits Meeting India's Oil Demand, Eager to Enter in Retail
| Onkareshwar Pandey - 15 Oct 2018

Saudi Arabia Hails PM Modi, Commits Meeting India's Oil Demand, Eager to Enter in Retail

by Onkareshwar Pandey

New Delhi, Oct 16, 2018: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Saudi Arabia, oil companies and other key stakeholders to find a resolution to India’s oil problem arising due to the double whammy of rising crude oil prices and falling rupee and sought to review the payments method of oil imports system so that there could be some temporary relief to the Indian rupee.

Responding positively on PM Modi’s appeal, Saudi Arabia, India's second-biggest oil supplier behind Iraq, committed to meeting India's rising oil demand and said it is keen to invest in fuel retailing and petrochemical business in the world's fastest-growing energy consumer.

Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih, heaped lavish praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for making it easier to do business in the country and ushering in Good Days or "
acche din" while speaking at India Energy Forum, New Delhi.

Saudi Arabia Oil Minister further said, "My frequent visits to India are indicative of the importance Saudi Arabia attaches to this great nation as a critical energy and a strategic global player."

Calling India an "emerging superpower", Khalid A Al-Falih said, “Saudi Arabia is India's second-biggest oil supplier behind Iraq and is committed to meet any shortfall that may arise due to sanctions on Iran.”

Before Al Falih’s stamen PM Modi made a strong case for a partnership between the producers and consumers in the oil market to reduce energy cost. He was addressing a crucial meeting held in Delhi on Monday. Top CEOs and Experts from the Oil and Gas sector, from both India and abroad, were present in the meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The gathering included Ministers from Saudi Arabia and UAE, and CEOs and experts from organisations including Saudi ARAMCO, ADNOC, BP, Rosneft, IHS Markit, Pioneer Natural Resources Company, Emerson Electric Company, Tellurian, Mubadala Investment Company, Schlumberger Ltd., Wood Mackenzie, World Bank, International Energy Agency (IEA), NIPFP, Brookings India and various Indian companies involved in both upstream and downstream operations.

Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Dharmendra Pradhan; Vice-Chairman NITI Aayog Dr. Rajiv Kumar and senior officials from the Union Government and NITI Aayog were also present at the interaction.

The meeting was very important because of the prices of petrol and diesel has continued skyrocketing despite recent tax relief given by the Union Government. It was the third brainstorming session with the chief executives of top global and Indian oil and gas companies on how to moderate the spiralling crude oil prices.  

Interacting with the global leaders of the energy sector, Prime Minister highlighted the significant positioning of India in the oil and gas market. He noted that the oil market is producer driven, and both the quantity and prices are determined by the oil-producing countries. Though there is enough production, the unique features of marketing in the oil sector have pushed up the oil prices. PM Modi made a strong case for a partnership between the producers and consumers, in the oil market, as it exists in other markets. This will help stabilise the global economy which is on the path of recovery.

Mr. Modi drew the attention of the experts on certain key policy issues relevant to India. Firstly, he highlighted that the consuming countries, due to rising crude oil prices, face many other economic challenges including serious resource crunch.  The cooperation of the oil producing countries would be very critical to bridge this gap.  He appealed to oil producing countries to channel their investible surplus to pursue commercial exploitation in oil sector in the developing countries. Secondly, he spoke of higher acreage under exploration and sought cooperation of the developed countries both in terms of technology and extension of coverage. Thirdly, he sought the role of private participation in the distribution of gas sector.

Talking of technology, he appealed for assistance in areas where high pressure and high-temperature technology applications are relevant to commercial exploitation of natural gas. Lastly and importantly, he requested for review of payment terms so as to provide temporary relief to the local currency.

Prime Minister also spoke about the various policy initiatives and developmental measures undertaken by his Government in the sector.  He highlighted the liberalisation in gas pricing and marketing which has been particularly in deep waters and requiring technology for high pressure high temperature exploitation.

PM Modi made a mention of open acreage licensing policy, early monetisation of coal bed methane, incentives for discovery of small fields and seismic survey at a national level. Talking of ongoing commercial exploitation, he made a special mention of extension of production sharing contracts. During the interaction, the global CEOs and Experts appreciated the steps taken by the Union Government over the last four years, for ease of doing business, and specifically in the energy sector in India.

The experts made a special mention of India’s competitive ranking from the upstream investment point of view which has gone up from 56 to 44. Subjects such as expansion of oil and gas infrastructure in India; enhancing exploration and production; potential in solar energy and biofuels; and the Union Government’s holistic approach to the energy sector came up for discussion. The experts appreciated the unique initiative of this kind of a dialogue, which brings various stakeholders together on policy matters.

Browse By Tags