India renews call for reasonable oil prices

New Delhi, April 12 : India on Thursday reiterated its call for reasonable global oil pricing and invited investment in its hydrocarbons sector in line with the country's drive to attaining energy security.

Noting that as the third largest energy consuming country India imports most of its oil and gas needs, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan made the call for "responsible pricing" at the concluding session of the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) ministerial here.

"India imports most its fossil fuel requirements and, at the same time, the average energy buyer in the country is very price conscious," Pradhan said.

"It is in this context that India has coined the concept of responsible and reasonable energy pricing.

I again urge producers to work for a more equitable pricing regime rather than artificially influence the market through output and investment changes.

"India is open to investment and I invite companies to invest in India's upstream and downstream sectors, joint ventures and academic collaborations," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the IEF 16 on Wednesday with the call for "responsible" pricing in the hydrocarbons market so as to balance the interests of oil and gas producers and consumers.

Pradhan said the "neutral" platform of the IEF made it a perfect forum of discussion between producing and consuming countries.

Signalling India's growing global importance as an energy consumer, the IEF was held in India after a gap of 22 years.

The meeting of ministers of the 72-member IEF, hosted by India and co-hosted by China and South Korea, aimed to focus on how global shifts, transition policies and new technologies influence market stability and future investment in the energy sector.

Recognising that universal access to energy is central to economic growth and welfare, the IEF16 concluding statement said: "Noting that energy poverty is one root cause of migration, IEF 16 delegates placing emphasis on affordability and making energy supply chains more affordable and sustainable."

On the oil and gas market, the statement said: "Noting that oil demand growth will not ease the burden on oil and gas producers to mobilise investment in new supply, and that investment needs are exacerbated by the backlog of stalled investments over the last four years, IEF delegates noted that more widely dicerging views on futureenergy policy and market trends further delay investments from moving forward expeditiously."

Among ministers from overseas who attended the meeting this year are those of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, Qatar, Nigeria, Japan, China, Russia and the US.

In his address at the inauguration, Saudi Arabian Petroleum Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that the future supply situation of energy sources, particularly of oil, is "not reasssuring", and that producers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) "remain committed to the long-term market".

"Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing extending the cooperation and monitoring of the market to extend stability," he said, referring to the crude output cuts agreed last year between OPEC and Russia in a move to stop the slide in oil prices that had fallen to around (Dollar) 25 a barrel two years ago.

Crude currently is averaging around (Dollar) 70 a barrel.



Source: IANS