Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Veerappa Moily called for higher investments in the oil and gas sector to boost self sufficiency.
He also justified the recent Cabinet decision to hike the gas price, saying it will make exploration of natural gas commercially viable. Moily was speaking at the National Convention on Oil & Gas 2013 in Mumbai on Friday.
The Union Minister said, "Should we pay $ 6.83 per unit to produce gas domestically or import it at much higher price. This is the decision we will have to make."
He said that around 3 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas in the country is lying unutilized as it is considered not viable to commercially exploit the reserves at prevailing rate of $ 4.2.
The government needs to move ahead and take bold decisions and should not be bogged down by the fear of CBI or CAG.
He also stated that there is an urgent need to destroy bureaucratic delays, saying "process should not dominate; instead the focus should be on delivery".
The Petroleum Minister said he has asked the oil and gas PSUs to step up their capital expenditure to boost capacity. He said, he will hold a meeting with oil PSUs executives shortly to review their investment road map. The Minister also indicated that an Open Acreage Licensing Policy will soon be in place to facilitate faster exploration.
Referring to acquisition of oil and gas assets abroad, Mr. Moily said our oil companies should become more aggressive in pursuing opportunities in various countries including Iran, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.