Indian Prime Minister says countrys demand for hydrocarbon fuels will increase >40% over next 10 years

India’s demand for hydrocarbon fuels over the next 10 years will increase by more 40% whereas the increase in the supply from maturing oilfields is expected to be around 12%, said Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in an inaugural address at the Petrotech 2010 conference in New Delhi.

As a result, the Prime Minister said, the Indian government is encouraging national oil companies to pursue equity oil and gas opportunities overseas.

The theme of this year’s conference is both very important, challenging and interesting. The concept of a Global Energy Equilibrium suggests a matching of demand and supply of hydrocarbons in a manner which is optimum. But apart from the difficulty of defining what an optimum balance would exactly mean, there are many other factors which have a bearing on how different countries meet their hydrocarbon demand. Oil and gas today are not seen merely as commodities to be traded freely. They are often used by countries to meet their political objectives. More importantly, we have to take into account the changing pattern of growth in the demand for oil.

In the last two decades or so, Asia’s share in the growth in demand for hydrocarbons has risen substantially while that of the OECD countries and the European Union has declined. This shift has been caused by high rates of economic growth and increasing populations in many Asian countries. There are supply-side uncertainties on the horizon. Many mature fields are declining in production. Some energy endowed countries have problems in augmenting production because of various reasons, including lack of the required technology and sometimes political uncertainty. Another challenge that faces all the countries of the world today is one arising out of the challenges of climate change. Because of this challenge, the demand on energy technologies goes beyond productivity and efficiency issues. The emerging energy technologies have to be adequately equipped to manage carbon emissions. We also need a rethink on the traditional energy basket which is presently loaded in favor of fossil fuels.

...Like other emerging economies, India needs adequate supplies of energy at affordable prices to meet the demand of its rapidly growing economy. Hydrocarbons will continue to be our major source of energy for quite sometime in the future. Most of our requirement of hydrocarbons is met through imports....We also seek to work together with other countries especially those which are active in the oil and gas space to tackle the problem of climate change.

—Prime Minister Singh

More than 4,000 delegates from 50 countries are participating in Petrotech 2010.

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