India to focus on Africa to geographically diversify energy basket

India will increase focus on the African community as a vital region to source petroleum products as a matter of policy according to petroleum minister and natural gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

Dharmendra who was speaking at the opening of the 4th India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference noted that the growing scarcity of domestic energy resources in India can be offset by Africa’s surplus energy reserves which accounts for about 15% of current proved accessible global oil reserves.

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2015, India will contribute around 25% of the growth in global energy demand and would thus be the single largest contributor to energy growth globally and thus a great market for Africa’s resources.

“We are confident that India, apart from being an attractive market for crude oil and gas, would be an able partner for African nations across the industry value chain,” Dhamendra told delegates attending the conference.

Dharmendra also sees opportunity in the downstream market as its 23 refineries can refine almost 180 kinds of crude. India has emerged as a refining hub with the fourth largest refining capacity in the world with 4.5% of world share.

“One area of clear promise is the downstream sector, where our core capabilities, downstream technology, would be attractive as we have firmly established ourselves as a strong player in refining and petrochemicals,” he added.

Dhamendra has also said India will continue to support R&D and training in Africa with 50,000 scholarships to be offered to students from the continent as announced during India Africa Forum Summit in October 2015.

He noted that India continues to offer credit to Africa with a concessional credit of $ 10 billion to be delivered over next 5 years for African countries.

“We have good scope to tap into this line of credit for oil and gas projects in Africa. I call upon public and private sector both in India and Africa to identify viable projects which can be financed and pursued through this line of credit.”

The conference that began yesterday will end today with foreign delegates having an opportunity to visit the Indian Oil Panipat Refinery, Mumbai High offshore – ONGC and Uran Process Plant – ONGC.

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