India will likely see an investment of $58 billion in finding and producing oil and gas resources by 2023, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday, adding global energy majors Chevron Corp, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies are keen to invest.
India, the world’s third biggest oil-consuming and importing nation, is looking to raise domestic output to help cut down reliance on costly imports. India imports 85 per cent of its crude oil, which is converted into petrol and diesel, and roughly half of its natural gas is converted to CNG and used in industries.
Speaking at the Voice of Global South Summit, Hardeep Singh Puri said the government has targeted to increase the geographical area under exploration and production to 0.5 million square kilometres or 15 per cent by 2025 from the current 0.25 million sq km.
“We are expecting an investment of around $58 billion in exploration and production (of oil and gas) by 2023,” he said. “Several multinational corporations like Chevron, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies are showing keen interest to invest in Indian E&P sector.” India, he said, is ready to “explore opportunities for joint development and production of oil and gas assets for mutual benefit and also invite investment in our domestic E&P sector”.
Hardeep Singh Puri said the world is facing an unprecedented crisis of 3Fs – ‘food, fuel and fertiliser’. “We are witnessing extreme price volatility in energy molecules. The most acute impact of this is felt in the global south.” Despite these challenging circumstances, the government has taken several measures to maintain energy security for its citizens.
These include diversification of supplies, an increase of alternate energy sources like bio-fuels, ethanol, and compressed biogas, increasing E&P footprint along with a focus on domestic production; and meeting energy targets through EVs and Hydrogen.
“All these measures offer easy replication for achieving our respective energy security goals,” he said.
“To resolve the common concerns of the global south, India is proposing to create Global Biofuel Alliance under G20,” he said.
“The aim of the Alliance is to support projects in order to increase the deployment of biofuels and its related technology, offer alternate means of sustainable energy and finally move to its trading among the largest producers and consumers of biofuels.” E20 or petrol blended with 20 per cent ethanol, will be rolled out soon in 11 states and UTs much earlier than the initial target date of April 1, 2023. “15 cities will be covered under phase-1. We are targeting a phased rollout of E20 in the entire country between now and April 2025,” he said.
Also, the government is targeting to set up a production capacity of 15 million tonnes of compressed bio-gas (CBG) from 5,000 plants by 2023 with an investment of USD 20 billion.