New Delhi: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has said that his government will work towards securing energy independence for India.
Addressing the National Editors' Conference here on Sunday, Moily said that he has rolled out new vision and set ambitious targets to reduce crude oil imports by 50 percent by 2020, 75 percent by 2025 and eventually achieve self-sufficiency and energy independence for India by 2030."
"This is possible, he emphasised, as only 73 billon barrels out of 205 billon barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources have been established so far, leaving 133 billion barrels to be unlocked," he added.
To speed of implementation of new exploration programmes across the country, Petroleum Ministry recently constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Vijay Kelkar, to prepare a roadmap for enhancing domestic production of oil and gas and sustainable reduction in import dependency by 2030.
Stressing need for increasing domestic oil and gas production, he said: " Our government will make every effort to reduce nation''s dependence on imported oil."
This is particularly important given that last financial year we imported crude oil worth about USD 140 billion, he added.
He further said the government is working to create enabling and conducive environment to promote investments, by making fiscal terms that are simple to administer. Towards this direction, recommendations of a committee setup by the Prime Minister under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan, are under consideration of the government.
Dr. Moily also informed that the domestic crude oil production is expected to reach 42.31 MMT during 2012-13, which would be 11.08 percent higher than previous year. The increase in production is mainly on account of higher crude oil production from Barmer fields in Rajasthan where current oil production is 1,70,00 bbl/day.
He also said that the recently set up Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI), a committee to fast-track large-delayed projects, has already given clearance for 5 out of 7 exploration blocks in the No Go area.
"We have had series of meetings between the Ministry (MoPNG) and the MoD, and we are very close to resolution based on the principle of co- existence of both National and Energy Security requirements'''', he added.
Calling for ushering Shale Gas Revolution, Moily announced that Shale Gas Policy will soon finalised to give impetus to domestic gas production.
"Much like the United States of America, Shale Gas can emerge as an important new source of energy for our nation. India has several shale formations, which seem to hold shale gas and are spread over several sedimentary basins such as Cambay, Gondwana, Krishna-Godawari on-land, and Cauvery. To explore and exploit the shale formations, the DGH has initiated steps. It will identify prospective areas for shale gas exploration," he said.
Dr. Moily further informed that a revised CBM Policy is under active consideration of the Government to enable expeditious commencement of CBM gas production in case of captive blocks. There are significant prospects for exploration of CBM as India is having the fourth largest proven coal reserves in the world.
He also said that in order to cater to the country''s growing gas demand, augmentation of LNG import facilities is underway.
"This include capacity expansion of PLL''s Dahej Plant to reach 12.5 MMTPA by 2013 and 15 MMTPA by 2015-16, besides its 5 MMTPA terminal at Kochi that is expected to be operationalised in next 2-3 month. Further, a 5 MMTPA capacity LNG Regasification plant at Dabol has been commissioned in January 2013. The capacity of HLPL Hazira is also likely to be expanded to 5 MMTPA in next 3-4 years. Capacity additions are also being planned at Dabol and new plant at Mangalore, he added.
Referring to tremendous progress by Indian refining industry, Moily said, India is emerging as a refinery hub.
"Our refining capacity has witnessed 3.5 times increase from 62 MMTPA in 1998 to 215.07 MMTPA at present. It is projected to increase to over 300 MMTPA by 2016-17", Moily said. Paradip refinery with capacity of 15 MMTPA is at advanced stage of construction and is likely to be completed by November 2013. .
"Expansion of Kochi Refinery, Kerala from 9.5 MMTPA to 15.5 MMTPA has been planned with an investment of Rs.20,000 crore. A 9 MMTPA green-field refinery along with petrochemical complex is also being set up at a cost of Rs. 37,229 crore at Barmer, Rajasthan. Since 2001-02 India has been continuing to be a net exporter of petroleum products. Petroleum products constitute the largest merchandise exports with exports of 60 MMT worth more than 58 billion US Dollars in 2011-12," he added.