Oil Minister sets ambitious targets for energy independence

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 Oil Minister sets ambitious targets for energy independence
The Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, speaking at National Editors' Conference said that his government will work towards securing Energy Independence for India.

Stressing need for increasing domestic oil & gas production, he said " Our government will make every effort to reduce nation's dependence on imported oil." This is particularly important given that last financial year we imported crude oil worth about US$ 140 billion, he added.

Dr. Moily elaborated a number of steps taken to boost domestic exploration and production of hydrocarbons. These include his ministry allowing exploration in Mining Lease (ML) areas even after completion of exploration period to attract significant investments and add substantial value of oil & gas production in ML areas. The Minister also said that he has rolled out new vision and set ambitious targets to reduce crude oil imports by 50% by 2020, 75% by 2025 and eventually achieve self-sufficiency and Energy Independence for India by 2030. This is possible, he emphasised, as only 73 billon barrels out of 205 billon barrels of prognosticated hydrocarbon resources have been established so far, leaving 133 billion barrels to be unlocked.

To speed of implementation of new exploration programmes across the country, Petroleum Ministry recently constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Vijay Kelkar, to prepare a roadmap for enhancing domestic production of oil & gas and sustainable reduction in import dependency by 2030.
The Minister further said the government is working to create enabling and conducive environment to promote investments, by making fiscal terms that are simple to administer. Towards this direction, recommendations of a committee setup by the Prime Minister under the Chairmanship of Dr. C. Rangarajan, are under consideration of the government.

Dr Moily also informed that the domestic crude oil production is expected to reach 42.31 MMT during 2012-13, which would be 11.08% higher than previous year. The increase in production is mainly on account of higher crude oil production from Barmer fields in Rajasthan where current oil production is 1,70,00 bbl/day.


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