Asserting that India is poised to lead global energy transition, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said that the country will emerge as global leader in sustainable transition to cleaner and greener energy. The Minister was delivering the Opening Address at World Energy Policy Summit 2022 -- an annual international conference to bring together diverse views on issues that influence energy policy by governments, companies and other entities. The opening session was participated by ONGC CMD Dr Alka Mittal along with other industry leaders and global policymakers.
Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri at WEPS 2022
Mr Puri said that the world is witnessing several unprecedented changes like heightened geopolitical tension, lower investment in traditional fossil fuels, simultaneous energy transition towards biofuels, gas, electric vehicles and green hydrogen. However, he noted that despite challenges, tremendous opportunities for different stakeholders are also present. He said that in today’s scenario of high market volatility, with prices of liquid hydrocarbons touching 7-year high, the objective of energy justice for all citizens of the country has gained greater relevance.
“India is the world’s third largest consumer of energy, even though our per capita consumption is 1/3rd of the global average. As our economy grows, our energy needs will take shape, and in turn global energy market will be shaped by India’s requirements. India’s growth has the potential to catalyze global economic resurgence. Any achievement by India will have multi-plier impact on the achievement of sustainable development goals,” he said. The Minister said that the Government has taken several measures to overhaul the hydrocarbon policy framework to ensure energy security of country, while ensuing the green path to progress. However, he said that it is also being acknowledged that oil and gas will continue to meet the baseload of our energy demand for the foreseeable future.
“We have declared ambitious target to increase area under exploration and production to 0.5 million sq kms by 2025 and 1 million sq km by 2030. We are rapidly deploying natural gas in our energy mix, and ethanol blending, through a series of reforms, has reached a national average of over 8 per cent, and is expected to reach 20 per cent by 2025. Clean mobility will be powered by promotion of electric vehicles and development of battery technology,” Mr Puri said. He highlighted that Indian PSUs are collaborating with foreign companies in innovation and deployment of battery technology.
The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas said that India’s oil and gas companies are developing projects for use of hydrogen as fuel and infusion of hydrogen in gas pipeline as well. Energy industry is also adapting digital technology like Artificial Intelligence, big data Analytics, robotics in a big way.
Delivering the Session Address on ‘Future of Oil and Gas’, ONGC CMD Dr Alka Mittal said that India’s oil demand is expected to grow the fastest in the world with its growing population, expanding economy, accelerated urbanization and rapid industrialization. She noted that ONGC’s contribution is critical in this scenario. She said ONGC has not only discovered and put on production 8 out of 9 producing basins of India, but has also been the pioneer in establishing the upstream industry in the country.
ONGC CMD Dr Alka Mittal delivering the Session Address
“ONGC is implementing innovative, redevelopment and enhanced oil recovery schemes to further increase oil production. Company is actively pursuing intensive exploration programs, by aggressive accretion through OALP program of Government of India,” she said. Dr Mittal added that while most oil and gas companies globally reduced capital outlays in the phase of low oil prices, ONGC did not cut back any investment plans and continued to spend around Rs 30,000 crore in CAPEX annually.
She highlighted that ONGC is seeking partnership, with global as well as domestic players, for its accelerated production program and is building a whole new system by facilitating new players in Indian E&P space. Talking about the global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, she said Natural Gas has emerged as one of the least polluting fuels. In Indian context, she said share of natural gas in India’s energy mix is still very low, but the Government has set an ambitious target from 6.3 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030. “ONGC has to play an active role in achieving this target,” she said.
Dr Mittal said ONGC has embedded sustainable growth as a core value in its vision and mission. “While aspiring to be a global E&P major, we have started many programs and initiatives to combat climate change and build up ONGC as a responsible ESG organization. While remaining strongly invested in oil and gas, we are looking beyond hydrocarbon and steadily increasing our footprint in renewables – geothermal, solar, wind, etc,” she said. ONGC CMD also underlined that ONGC is looking at latest technologies to further reduce its emissions, adding that one such way is carbon capture utilization and storage.
During the session, a presentation on “Energy: A World Overview” was also delivered by Rystad Energy CEO Jarand Rystad
Delivering the Keynote Address, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment Espen Barth Eide said that global warming needs to be kept under acceptable limits. He said that both large corporations and consumers have started to care about this issue and added that emission reduction should be given priority. However, he flagged that we also need to maintain access to energy and ensure that more and more people get access to energy. “We need to have a strategic plan, to transition from oil and gas to clean energy system. We need to recognize that we need to transition, but also the fact that it is complicated and will take considerable time. I think the problem will not be getting renewable, but ensuring that we get access to renewable energy when we need it and where we need it,” he said. Mr Eide highlighted that research needs to be focused on managing intermittence.
Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment Espen Barth Eide (Right)
Earlier, the session was kicked off by the Introductory Session of Independent Energy Policy Institute Chairman Narendra Taneja, who talked about the objective of the conference. Mr Taneja said that energy and climate are two sides of the same coin and added that fossil fuels can make transition smoother. He advocated that energy leaders need to be part of the policy and strategy for transition.
Narendra Taneja and Irene Rummelhoff during the session
Executive Vice President of Midstream, Marketing, Trading and Low Carbon, Equinor, Norway Irene Rummelhoff, delivering the Prime Address, said that noted that a major transition is coming and added that everyone needs to find ways to turn this into an opportunity.