Petrotech – 2019, Petroleum minister Pradhan and PM Modi address current energy trends and future of sustainable energy

Inaugurating the 13th edition of PETROTECH 2019, International Conference and Exhibition, organized by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), in association with FIPI, under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was inaugurated on 10 February 2019  the Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan spoke of converting buyer-seller relationships with major oil and gas producers in the world into strategic partnerships through bilateral investments. He said that the major transitions in energy consumption include the US becoming the world’s largest oil and gas producer after the shale revolution and solar energy emerging as a competitive and sustainable energy alternative.

The minister also observed how the share of natural gas in the global energy mix is going up, the convergence of cheaper renewable energy technologies and digital applications, and the rising role of electricity will help the world achieve sustainable energy goals. The dependence on oil and gas in the next 20 years as prominent fuels will make it inevitable to deal with increasing emissions of CO2 and global warming. This can be tackled by expanding the supply and availability of energy in a safe and environmentally responsible, sustainable manner. Pradhan also highlighted the shift from BS – IV to BS – VI standards for emission, implementation of Ethanol Blended Petrol program and introduction of National Bio-fuel Policy to promote alternate fuels.

At the first ministerial at Petrotech 2019, the minister pointed out that India is pushing for energy justice globally by making cooking gas and electricity available for everyone in the country. Nargis Nehan, Minister of Mines and Petroleum for Afghanistan said that the Turkmenistan-Afghanisatan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, essential for the growing Afghanistan population, is underway. The land acquisition and project related studies have been initiated and the action plan will be signed for the project implementation.

The officials of the government spoke on the sidelines of the conference about offering special incentives for natural gas discoveries in over a dozen difficult and unviable areas  owned by ONGC and OIL to meet its ambitious plans of doubling output by 2022, reducing the reliance on imports and cutting down pollution due to emissions from liquid fuels. These discoveries have not been developed as it is unviable at the present government mandated price of $3.36 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu) which is way lower than the cost of production. ONGC and OIL want a price of over $6 per MMBtu to help them produce the gas without suffering any losses and can help them develop and monetise the fields expeditiously.

Speaking at the Petrotech – 2019 PM Modi stressed on the importance of responsible pricing and saving energy by moving towards transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas. He observed that the energy consumption is shifting from West to East and that the US has become the largest oil and gas producer affecting the changes in the patterns of energy supply and consumption. Renewable sources of energy like solar energy and natural gas are becoming sustainable substitutes for traditional energy forms. There is convergence between cheaper renewable energy, technologies and digital applications which will expedite achievement of sustainable development goals.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Shaping the New Energy World through Innovation and Collaboration’.