Investments in upstream sector to continue; policies will be made conducive to attract foreign investment: Additional Secretary (E&CVO), MoP&NG

New Delhi: Mr Amar Nath, Additional Secretary (E&CVO), Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt of India today asserted that investments in oil sector especially upstream is necessary and will continue in India. “We will make our policies as conducive as possible for the investors. Upstream companies have the opportunity to transform itself and contribute to the growth of the nation as well as sustainability of the climate,” he added.

Addressing the webinar ‘Upstream Oil & Gas Industry in India – The Way Ahead’, organized by FICCI, Mr Nath stated, “Investment in Upstream is a must and our policies are based on that premise on inviting more investment and make our policy as investor friendly as possible,” he added.

Mr Nath further stated that industry must also focus on reducing carbon emissions by adopting Scope 1 & 2 emissions and make the upstream companies carbon neutral. “We will have to continue to have energy for the growth and development of the county,” he added.

He emphasized that our import bill is huge, and effects the entire economy. “The need for oil and gas will continue in India for at least 20 years. We also need to focus on the steps to be taken for carbon reduction and focusing on the sustainable development,” he noted.

Upstream industry, he said will have tremendous pressure on them and more will come from the renewable energy sector. “To mitigate this challenge, CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage) is one of the key areas we must focus on. We have the capacity to develop this technology, scale-up and not only decarbonize our economy but help in overall carbon reduction,” mentioned Mr Nath.

Highlighting the potential of Hydrogen in the oil and gas sector, Mr Nath said that it is an element which can easily gel with natural gas in terms of transportation, usage. “A marriage between the natural gas and hydrogen has to happen and we need to work more proactively to scale it further. This is another opportunity for the upstream companies to combine with its development,” he noted.

Mr Prashant Modi, Co-Chair, FICCI Hydrocarbons Committee & MD & CEO, Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL) said that in order to boost the production, the E&P sector needs not only deployment of newer technologies but out-of-the-box ideas. “As we are moving towards revenue sharing contracts, there should be no approvals which should be needed from the government and it should be based on self-certification,” he added. Mr Modi strongly advocated for a free market gas pricing regime and doing away of any formula/ process to determine gas price. This he said will rekindle interest of E&P players to bring new investments into the sector.

Mr Deepak Mahurkar, Partner & Leader, Oil & Gas Industry, PwC and Dr SC Sharma, Formerly Officer on Special Duty (Energy & Climate Change) Govt of India, Planning Commission also shared their perspective on the Indian oil and gas sector.