Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
01-November-2010 11:54 IST
PM’S Inaugural Address at Petrotech-2010
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, inaugurated the 9th International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (Petrotech 2010) in New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion:

“I am happy to participate in the inaugural function of Petrotech 2010. This is the ninth conference in the series of Petrotech conferences and I am told that more than 4000 delegates from 50 countries are participating in this event. I extend a very warm welcome to all of them.

The Petrotech conferences provide a forum for discussion dialogue and exchange of views and ideas on a subject of very critical importance to the world community as a whole. Over the years, they have become a leading platform for interaction on issues and possible strategies in the global hydrocarbon industry. They have also served as a movement to unite India’s upstream, midstream and downstream sectors to work towards securing India’s energy needs and requirements. They have come up with several useful ideas and recommendations. To give an example, Petrotech 2001 resulted in the document “India Hydrocarbon Vision” a 20 year roadmap for the country in the area of hydrocarbons. I congratulate the Ministry of Petroleum, Petrotech Society, Oil & Natural Gas Commission and Indian Oil Corporation for organizing these conferences.

The theme of this year’s conference is both very important, challenging and interesting. The concept of a Global Energy Equilibirium suggests a matching of demand and supply of hydrocarbons in a manner which is optimum. But apart from the difficulty of defining what an optimum balance would exactly mean, there are many other factors which have a bearing on how different countries meet their hydrocarbon demand. Oil and gas today are not seen merely as commodities to be traded freely. They are often used by countries to meet their political objectives. More importantly, we have to take into account the changing pattern of growth in the demand for oil. In the last two decades or so, Asia’s share in the growth in demand for hydrocarbons has risen substantially while that of the OECD countries and the European Union has declined. This shift has been caused by high rates of economic growth and increasing populations in many Asian countries. There are supply-side uncertainties on the horizon. Many mature fields are declining in production. Some energy endowed countries have problems in augmenting production because of various reasons, including lack of the required technology and sometimes political uncertainty. Another challenge that faces all the countries of the world today is one arising out of the challenges of climate change. Because of this challenge, the demand on energy technologies goes beyond productivity and efficiency isuses. The emerging energy technologies have to be adequately equipped to manage carbon emissions. We also need a rethink on the traditional energy basket which is presently loaded in favour of fossil fuels. I am sure that such important issues will be considered in the deliberations in your conference to the benefit of the participants and their countries.

The challenges faced by most of the emerging economies today are similar. Their domestic sources are often inadequate to meet their growing demand for energy. And developing domestic sources involves huge capital investment. Like other emerging economies, India needs adequate supplies of energy at affordable prices to meet the demand of its rapidly growing economy. Hydrocarbons will continue to be our major source of energy for quite sometime in the future. Most of our requirement of hydrocarbons is met through imports. In India, the demand over the next 10 years will increase by over 40 percent whereas the increase in the supply from the maturing oil-fields is expected to be around 12 per cent. The Indian Government is therefore encouraging national oil companies to pursue equity oil and gas opportunities overseas. For these reasons, we seek to build strong economic partnerships with other producing countries and their oil and gas industries to the mutual benefit of each other. We also seek to work together with other countries especially those which are active in the oil and gas space to tackle the problem of climate change. I would suggest the participants of Petrotech-2010 to explore the possibility of an association of oil and gas companies to deliberate upon such issues of shared interest.

I understand that Petrotech 2010 is being organized as a carbon neutral event. I compliment the organizers for setting an example on a contemporary issue of great global importance. I am also told that our national oil corporations have invested heavily in a number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. This will help our Government’s efforts to build a greener economy.

I am sure that diverse spectrum of knowledge and experience in the field of energy exploration and production which the participants bring to this conference will result in new ideas that would help in our collective pursuit of energy security. With these words, I wish the deliberations of Petrotech 2010 all success.”