OPEC Secretary General meets with Indian Petroleum Minister and other officials in New Delhi
OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, met with HE Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, after delivering a keynote speech at Petrotech, an international oil and gas conference held in New Delhi on Monday, 5 December.
The Secretary General congratulated the Minister and his team for having organized an excellent conference and exhibition, and noted the many high-level discussions that were held. He had made Petrotech into “a global platform for industry”, the Secretary General said, and noted that there were influential interactions – not only at the policy level, among ministers, but also during high-level technical discussions.
This was the 12th edition of the conference, which many consider the flagship event of the country’s dynamic hydrocarbons sector. According to conference organizers, Petrotech is “a biennial platform for national and international experts in the oil and gas industry to exchange views and share knowledge, expertise and experiences”.
The Minister officially welcomed the Secretary General to India, on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, and congratulated him for his ongoing efforts to ensure a return to oil market stability. He also thanked him for his participation at Petrotech, which he saw as an outgrowth of the already established energy dialogue between OPEC and India.
The Minister also expressed support for OPEC’s ongoing efforts to support producer-consumer dialogue worldwide, noting that he was looking to further play a constructive role in these efforts, particularly given India’s own growing role as an oil producer.
The Secretary General replied by saying he would continue to pay special attention to the dialogue already established with India, which he hoped could be expanded further. He noted that India was not just important as a consumer but increasingly as a producer as well, and said that it should be possible to look into having more regular interactions with the country at a technical level and to work towards solid partnership opportunities.
Separately, the Secretary General also met with Mr. Balasubramanian Ashok of the Indian Oil Corporation, one of the biggest downstream sector companies in India. During this bilateral meeting, Mr. Ashok underscored some of the key issues facing the company, which has significant hydrocarbons requirements.
Mr. Ashok noted that there is increasing demand for products in India, which is primarily coming from the transport sector. He also pointed out that the company already runs 11 refineries in India with a total refining capacity of 1.4 mb/d. India’s total refining capacity is 4.2 mb/d.
The Secretary General also met with Mr. Shri D. Rajkumar, Chairman and Managing Director of downstream company, Bharat Petrolresources Ltd., and his team. Bharat is an important company in India, providing services and satisfying the bulk part of the demand for products. It is a major crude oil importer – and a direct customer of many OPEC Member Countries.
In his various meetings, the Secretary General highlighted the global importance of India, not only praising the growth and performance of its hydrocarbons sector but also its active stance as a ‘champion of developing world’. He noted that India has been a leading advocate for environmental and sustainable development issues, and that its efforts have been leading to increased access to modern energy by the poor.
HE Mohammad Barkindo, who was appointed in August as Secretary General of the Organization, is visiting non-OPEC oil producing countries for continuous consultations in an effort to support the recent decision by the OPEC Conference on 30 November to adjust production levels to 32.5 mb/d – and in the lead-up to a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries taking place on 10 December in Vienna.