India will see a massive investment of USD 118 billion in oil and gas exploration as well as in setting up of natural gas infrastructure in the next few years as the country prepares to meet the needs of a fast-growing economy, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
As much as USD 58 billion will be invested by 2023 in oil and gas exploration and production, while, another USD 60 billion will be put in creation of natural gas infrastructure such as pipelines, import terminals and city gas distribution networks by 2024.
Speaking at the India Energy Forum of CERAWeek conference here, he said India‘s energy transition level is in line with global trends.
“Today India is sixth largest economy in the world and third largest energy consumer after US and China. India will be the key driver of global energy demand in coming decades,” he said.
India, he said, offers stable polity with reform focused approach and a strong institutional framework for catalysing the investments.
Pradhan said his government has overhauled the policy framework to revitalize oil and gas ecosystem and establish a conducive business environment, prompting International Energy Agency to state that investments in energy sector in India had recorded the second highest growth in the world during 2015 to 2018.
“Growing presence of global oil and gas majors like Saudi Aramco, ADNOC, BP, Shell, Total, Rosneft and ExxonMobil in India is a testimony to the faith and confidence of global investors on promising India’s growth story,” he said.
Giving details of investment lined up, he said three rounds of bidding for exploration acreage under the Open acreage licensing policy and two rounds of bidding under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) policy had helped garner an estimated investment of USD 58 billion in exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas by 2023.
On gas, he said: “As we speak, an estimated investment of USD 60 billion is lined up in building gas pipelines, terminals, and city gas infrastructure that are in different stages of implementation.”
Stating that the Government was committed to make India a low carbon economy even though its per capita carbon emission was far less than the world average, he said special thrust is being given to promote gas-based economy.
According to Pradhan, the city gas distribution licenses given in last couple of years will help cover half of India’s geography and would serve 70 per cent of India’s population through availability of low carbon and affordable natural gas.
Pradhan said the downstream sector fuel refining and marketing sector has been completely liberalised with market driven pricing allowed for major petroleum products.
“Our fuel standards are comparable to the best in world and pan India BS-VI complaint fuel will be available in India from April 1, 2020,” he said.
Also, emphasis is being given on use of biofuels generated from various types of agriculture residue and municipal solid waste and use of compressed biogas produced from biomass waste, he said.
“We have made a target to setup 5000 compressed biogas plants in different parts of the country,” he noted.