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Gas trading platform to come up 'very soon' in India, says Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan

The Oil minister said the government will soon come up with a gas trading platform.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Updated: October 11, 2017 11:00 IST ]
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said India will offer investment opportunities worth USD 300 billion in the hydrocarbon sector over next 10 years so as to keep pace with the country's energy demand.

He also said a group of experts is being set up to advise the government on issues related to energy. Besides, a Cabinet proposal is being finalised for a gas platform for having market driven prices, he added.

"In the next 10 years, India is offering project scope of USD 300 billion (in hydrocarbon sector) looking into our future demand," Pradhan said in a media interaction at IndiaEnergyForum, organised by CERAWeek.

On the comments of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant about scope of USD 1 trillion investment in oil sector in the coming five years, and Saudi Aramco investing USD 300 billion in India, the minister said: "That was a miscommunication. Aramco has plan of USD 300 billion investment in their own world infrastructure."

Talking about the gas platform which will provide marketing mechanism for the gas segment, he said: "Very soon we will be coming up with gas exchange platform. Foreign Direct Investment is a contentious issue in this sector."

Pradhan said the primary idea is to put some component of domestic gas (in future) and imported LNG on this new platform. "We want to exchange (replace) the pooling mechanism of gas through a the transparent exchange. We will be going to Cabinet very soon with detailed, nitty-gritty...how it will work."

The existing formula for gas pooling for various sectors would exist even after operationalisation of the exchange as there are some priority sectors, but gradually India will move toward market driven gas price, he added.

On the expert group, Pradhan said: "We are forming one internal think tank to advice on regular basis on ministerial work primarily on technology and on the target set by the Prime Minister on how to reduce (oil) import dependence 10 per cent. How to implement the successful gas network in the country."

There was a very successful meeting with the members of the think tank in the first half of the day, he said.

"In our think tank, the members are Daniel Yergin (Vice Chairman, IHS Markit), Dev Sanyal, Chief Executive (Alternative Energy & Executive Vice President, Regions, BP plc), Ashok Belani, Vijay Swaroop (ExxonMobil), Dr Kamat, Dr Kelkar, Chanda Kochhar and Satish Pai," he added.

The think tank will mainly play an advisory role in five broad areas including gas infrastructure and financial models of projects.

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