ASIA NEEDS CROSS-BORDER TRADE IN GAS : DEORA
New Delhi,14Apr:Shri Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas informed here today while inaugurating the 5th Asia Gas Partnership Summit, organized jointly by GAIL and FICCI, that he would be traveling to Islamabad next few days for vital discussions on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. The meeting would be held on April 23 and 24. The meeting on TAPI will be followed up with bilateral talks with the Pakistani authorities regarding issues like levy of transit fees, in case of Iran- Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI) pipeline project etc, he said. Shri Deora stressed that India is keen to implement these projects.Shri Deora stressed that Asia needs cross-border trade in gas. He said, “ Geography, resources and economics favour regional integration, especially in gas.” Asian gas markets are leading the growth in global gas sector with Asia today accounting for 70% of the total LNG trade. The Minister pointed out that Asian countries have natural areas of commonalities and synergy in social, economic and technological spheres. A multifaceted economic partnership will underpin more securely our traditionally close relationships. India on its part is ready to play sheet anchor role in this endeavour, he said.
He called upon the governments of Asian region to play their role of providing a transparent, attractive and stable policy and regulatory regime. At the same time, the role of the business community to build a stable and strong economic partnership is equally important. The Indian industry has the full support of Government of India. The government and state-owned enterprises, which have increasingly occupied a centre-stage in the changed scenario on the world oil and gas domain, must play a proactive role. Indian firms, he said, were attaining global levels in quality and output. Indian public and private firms have a lot of expertise and skill in various aspects of the gas value chain, which could be utilized to good use through mutual partnerships.
The Government of India, Mr. Deora said, had set-up Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, an Institute of national importance to provide training facilities at par with IITs to meet the ever-increasing requirement of trained engineers and technicians in the field of hydrocarbon sector. India is willing to share its excellent training facilities and experience for the mutual benefit.
Mr. Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, underlined the need for utilizing natural resources like natural gas for the uplift of the poor. He emphasized the importance of energy security, for sustained and inclusive economic growth.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. M S Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry of Petroelum & Natural Gas, said the policy on utilisation of natural gas should primarily be determined by considerations of national security, food security and energy security. Without energy security, he cautioned, national economies would come to a halt. Mr. Srinivasan said, pricing was a key issue in the utilization of gas. If the gas sector is to grow globally and locally, it is imperative to make it worthwhile for the producers and the users of gas as substitute fuel.
Mr. U D Choubey, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India) Ltd., proposed formation of a Gas Cooperation Forum of Asian countries which could ultimately give shape to Asian Federation as role of governments becomes paramount in cross-border natural gas projects. The basis of cooperation could be in trade, investment, technology transfer and R & D. He said Asia accounts for 70% of the total LNG trade. Dr Choubey suggested concrete multilateral measures like harmonization of standards and fiscal or taxation regimes, overarching energy charter that defines legal and regulatory framework and cross-border gas trade through signing of MoUs and Transit Protocols.
Mr. Y K Modi, former President, FICCI, pointed out that energy security was one of the biggest challenge faced by national economies, particularly of developing countries. In this context, he said, Asia was emerging as a hub of energy demand and therefore Asian countries needed to act in concert to balance their energy needs.
The inaugural session of the two-day summit was also addressed by Datuk (Dr.) Abdul Rahim Hashim, Vice President, International Gas Union & Vice President,, Research & Technology, PETRONAS, Malaysia; Mr. R S Sharma, CMD, ONGC; Mr. Sathak Behuria, Chairman, IOC; Mr. Andre Mernier, Secretary General, Energy Charter Secretariat, Brussels; Mr. Ron P. Billings, Vice President, LNG, ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company, USA; and Mr. S. Sundareshan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
The two-day Asian Gas Summit has been organized by jointly FICCI and GAIL (India) Limited and supported by International Gas Union (IGU). Industry leaders from across the globe are be participating in the conference. The theme for the Fifth Asia Gas Partnership Summit is “The Asian Gas Market and Energy Security”. More than 300 delegates are participating in the Summit with over 100 national and international companies in the hydrocarbon sector.
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