Africa perfect partner for India's energy needs: Minister
Terming Africa as a potential partner to meet the country’s soaring hydrocarbon demand, the Indian government said that scarcity of domestic energy resources can be neutralised by Africa’s surplus reserves, which accounts for about 15% of global oil reserves. “The present Indian government is keen to move towards a geographically diversified energy basket. This has resulted in India’s greater focus on Africa as a vital region for sourcing petroleum products in coming years. There are several reasons for us to believe that Africa will be the perfect partner in the hydrocarbon space,” Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said while inaugurating the 4th India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi. “Government of India wants to diversify sourcing of crude oil & import from Africa is bound to increase at a rapid pace,” Pradhan tweeted. The two-day conference, which is being attended by delegates from 20 African countries with Petroleum Ministers from ten countries, envisages to enhance India-Africa partnership across several value chains, especially across oil and hydrocarbon sectors. Africa has been a major source of India’s oil imports. In 2014, India imported 32 million metric tonnes of crude from Africa – 3 million metric tonnes from North Africa and 29 million metric tonnes from West Africa, mainly from Nigeria and Angola – constituting about 16% of India’s total crude consumption. Several Indian companies have been active in Africa’s hydrocarbon sector, majorly in Mozambique, Sudan and South Sudan markets, with approximate investments of $7-8 billion in exploration and production segments. Indian companies also hold interest in key oil and gas projects in Gabon, Libya and Egypt. With India's energy consumption growing at a record pace – the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of Indian primary energy consumption in the last 15 years has been about 7.3% as compared to the global CAGR of 3% - meeting its future energy requirement is going to be a colossal task before the government. India has also offered a concessional credit of $10 billion over next five years for African countries. “We have good scope to tap into this line of credit for oil and gas projects in Africa. I call upon public and private sector both in India and Africa to identify viable projects which can be financed and pursued through this line of credit,” Pradhan said. “Stressed on Potential of Energy partnership by mutual investments, knowledge sharing and collaboration,” Pradhan said in a series of tweets.
January 22, 2015 | 4:39pm IST.