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West Asia tension & trade war may hit energy security, economy: Pradhan.


Date: 14-10-2019
Subject: West Asia tension & trade war may hit energy security, economy: Pradhan
NEW DELHI: Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday warned that India's growing import dependence for oil and gas made it vulnerable to external developments and said a series of adverse global events in recent months - from the US-China trade war to happenings in West Asia - might have an "enormous impact" on the country's energy security as well as its economy, budget and investment. 

Addressing the third meeting of the International Think Tank ahead of the India Energy Forum, Pradhan, however, acknowledged that India would continue to depend on hydrocarbons, while relying on cleaner and more efficient technologies along with producer-consumer relations as trade volumes grow. 

"No single form of energy can meet the growing energy demand in India given India's development imperative that aims to ensure energy justice to all. Mixing all exploitable energy sources is the only feasible way forward in our context," the minister said. At the same time, he made it clear that India would chart its own course of energy transition and would lead it through schemes such as Ujjwala, Ujala and Saubhagya, aimed at delivering efficient electricity and gas to all households across the country. 

Pradhan said India was investing over $60 billion in developing natural gas supply and distribution infrastructure as it chases the target of more than doubling the share of natural gas in its energy base to 15% by 2030. Explaining that natural gas currently constituted 6.2% of all energy consumption in the country, he said the government had laid emphasis on developing a gas-based economy. The government is giving special impetus to develop gas infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country, connecting north to south and east to west, he said. 

City gas distribution network would soon cover 70% of the population, he said. "Our government is exploring strategic partnerships for overall development of the oil and gas sector. The role of private sector - both domestic and from abroad - for bringing in investments with necessary innovations for future energy landscape in the country will remain crucial," the minister said. 

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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