Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas
03-November-2010 18:50 IST
Address of Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Murli Deora at the Valedictory Session of Perotech-2010
Following is the text of the speech delivered by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Murli Deora at the Valedictory Session of Perotech-2010:

“First of all I would like to extend my warm welcome to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister of India and one of the most talented Policy Makers of the country with a long and distinguished career in Indian politics. His deep understanding of our economic and political environment and the international economic situation has resulted in shaping our country’s policies to achieve high levels of sustained growth, increased investment and growth of industry. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is grateful to him for providing the required fiscal support in making available energy at affordable prices. His support to growth of petroleum sector by appropriate taxation policies has helped us in getting investments in exploration and production of oil and gas. He was with us in the Inaugural session of Petrotech 2009 and we are extremely happy to have him here at the closing ceremony of Petrotech 2010. Pranabji, we are thankful to you for being with us today.

Prime Minister in his Inaugural address mentioned about the optimal matching of demand and supply of hydrocarbons. He also mentioned how achieving such a balance in a world which has supply side uncertainties and growing demands is difficult. This is the challenge we face today and this is reflected in - “Global Energy Equilibrium” which is the theme of this Petrotech 2010. It is a vital issue for our civilization and this can be achieved through cooperation and mutual trust. I am happy to state that this conference has addressed several dimensions of this challenge and has come out with a declaration. The declaration as I understand will indicate the necessary actions that need to be taken in moving towards our common goal of achieving energy equilibrium.

In Petrotech 2010, we had a greater participation of foreign delegates and the total number of delegates was about 4000. This shows the growing popularity of this event and its utility in addressing common issues of cooperation in energy sector. We are happy to have received Ministers from eight countries.

Dear delegates,

As we come to the concluding ceremony of this vibrant conference Petrotech-2010, I compliment you all for making this event a truly participatory and rewarding experience for all of us. Personally, I have enjoyed meeting the distinguished Ministers and delegates and sharing views and working out the future plans on various issues in the energy sector between Governments and Companies.

The Indian petroleum industry has matured and I am confident that it will grow even more by covering new ground in collaboration with others from the industry and meet the energy expectations of the nation.

The NELP policy which took shape in 1990s along with the liberalization of economy has heralded a new era for the upstream sector. Exploratory successes in Indian basins in recent times has given us confidence that Indian basins have large yet-to-be-discovered resources. We do hope and expect that more companies will be participating in the Ninth bid round which was launched only in the last month.

The policy regime of the UPA government, as always, is supportive to all efforts which are dedicated for the energy security of the nation.

There are other new and emerging areas such as Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), Shale gas etc. We hope to put in place a policy on Shale gas exploration by end of 2011. It will provide level playing opportunity for all.

We have the world’s second largest base of LPG consumers. LPG cylinders are delivered to the consumer’s doorstep – from difficult terrains in Leh to the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands. Our plan is to connect 5 crore additional households by 2015 to increase LPG coverage from 50% of the population to 75%. This is being achieved through Rajiv Gandhi Gramin LPG Vitarak Yojana which targets penetration of rural areas, small towns and remote habitats. In addition, we have formulated a scheme to provide assistance to the Below Poverty Line families to have access to domestic LPG. This will enable them to use the clean and green fuel.

The gas pipeline infrastructure is being expanded. Gail India Limited is laying about 5000 km length of pipelines and private sector operators are constructing 3000 km length of pipelines which are expected to be completed by the end of 2012. This will make gas available to several uncovered areas in the southern and eastern part of India.

The Government has stood by the common man in providing access to the essential fuels: even when international oil prices touched $147 per barrel in July 2008, it was feared that there would be huge shortage of petroleum products. But the prophets of doom were proved wrong. Even in such a situation, the Government ensured normalcy in the supply and distribution of petroleum products.

In the refining sector, the surplus capacity has contributed to export of 51 million tones of refined petroleum products during 2009-10 valued at 30 billion dollars, making petroleum products the largest foreign exchange earner in the merchandise category.

I compliment ONGC for successfully organizing this event. I would also like to thank all the delegates, experts from various fields, young energy professionals, various foreign and Indian companies, media and associated people for their whole-hearted participation in making this conference a big success. I would also like to compliment Petrotech society for giving opportunity to the young minds, the students for participation which enables them to become the future energy leaders. “