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Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon'ble  Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,  Government of India inaugurated the three day SPE Oil and Gas International  Conference organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers here today.  Other dignitaries present included,Mr K D  Tripathi, Secretary, MoPNG, Mr  D. K  Sarraf, CMD ONGC, Mr U P Singh. Additional Secretary, MoPNG,  Mr Nathan Meehan, President- SPE 2016 and Mr  T K Sengupta, Director (Offshore), ONGC.

Dharmendra Pradhan sharing his thoughtsDharmendra Pradhan sharing his thoughts

Speaking on the occasion, Mr  Dharmendra Pradhan said that the low oil prices are a challenge to the upstream  industry but it has also resulted in lowering the cost of exploration and  related services and we need to convert this challenge into  opportunity to upscale production. 

Mr Pradhan said that only half  of India’s sedimentary basins have been explored and there is an immense  potential in the remaining half. Exploration of the remaining half should be  taken up on top priority in order to curb imports by ten percent by 2022 as  envisioned by the Prime Minister.

Mr Pradhan emphasized on the  aptness of the conference theme of “Converting Resources into Production” and  shared the various Policy initiatives of the Government like uniform licensing  policy, pricing and marketing freedom and easy to administer revenue sharing  models.

 Mr Pradhan pointed out that  suitable project management and technology innovation can resolve half of the  problems of upstream oil companies even under the volatile price regime.

Earlier Mr K D Tripathi, Secretary  MoPNG said that besides conventional oil we need to look at the potential of  unconventional sources like shale oil and gas, CBM, Gas Hydrates etc. Mr  Tripathi noted that the second Gas Hydrate Program which has been completed  recently has shown remarkable potential, which needs to be tapped .

Mr. U P Singh, Additional Secretary MoPNG shared the path breaking interventions of the government in increasing the exploration activity like Pre NELP, NELP and subsequently new formula for gas pricing, policy on marginal fields, uniform licensing policy, freedom of pricing, open acreage policy and the role of Minimum Government & Maximum Governance . He said the government was proactively taking all possible measures to provide a conducive environment to both Indian and foreign firms so that E&P activity in India could be developed.

In his address Mr D K Sarraf ,  CMD ONGC said that this is not the first time that the oil sector is facing the  challenge of low pricing .Mr Sarraf emphasized on the need for resilience in  financial , operational  and portfolio management  to stay afloat in the current market scenario. He stressed on the need for  innovative approach and stressed on the need to monetize the marginal fields,  managing the deepwater, and reversing the tide.

Earlier, in his welcome address  Mr  T K Sengupta, Director (offshore) presented  an overview of the conference particularly at a time when oil sector is passing  through a critical juncture world-wide.