Development of capital goods needed in oil and gas sector: minister

April 5th, 2008 - 4:39 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 5 (IANS) The Indian petrochemicals sector still lags behind in the manufacturing of capital goods required for the exploration and production of refined gas, said Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora. Speaking at a seminar here, Saturday, the minister asked the foreign companies specializing in technology in these fields to set up their manufacturing base in India either individually or in collaboration with Indian companies.

“It is important that we encourage this sector to develop itself if we are to compete with international players. Even though India has a significant presence through OVL (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh ltd) in Russia, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Qatar, Egypt to name a few countries, the indigenous industry still needs a boost in self-development.”

He was speaking at a seminar organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), ‘Opportunities in Oil and Gas Sector’.

Elaborating on the need to infuse fresh look at the development of capital goods industry in this sector, Deora said that economic growth rate of eight percent to ten percent calls for rapid development in the energy sector.

“Our main focus at present is to boost the country’s energy security and develop the petroleum sector. In order to achieve this we need to increase not just exploration and production activities in the country but also acquire oil and gas assets abroad and implement environment friendly policies along with the development of conservation and storage facilities,” the minister said.

“Of course the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) has given a boost to the E&P (exploration and production) sector and successful on land, shallow and deep water oil and gas discoveries have also attracted a number of companies both from India and abroad, much needs to be done as Indian sedimentary basin still remains under-explored. And it is here that the point of refining companies or to put properly E&P companies come into picture,” Deora observed.

According to Deora, the development and promotion of E&P companies would translate into making India a refining destination, servicing the export market for petroleum products and simultaneously integrating the downstreaming of chemicals and petrochemicals plants.

“If this development takes place then it would reflect in the emergence of huge opportunities for the Indian capital goods manufacturing companies in the E&P segment, which is at present undeveloped and waiting to be tapped. It is time that we look beyond domestic markets,” the petroleum minister said, expressing optimism and hope that public and private sectors will come together to thrash out the issues of investments that are being made and that are needed to prop up the capital goods companies.

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