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india energy week: India for predictable trajectory to cleaner fuel for orderly energy transition



India on Wednesday made a pitch for drafting a predictable trajectory to cleaner fuel for an orderly energy transition, saying a balanced and realistic dialogue is needed and not vilification of fossil fuel. Speaking at the India Energy Week here, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the world’s third largest energy consumer is exploring options to diversify its oil purchases, including the possibility of picking up opportunity cargoes, such as those available from Russia and Venezuela.

The recent reforms in the sector, including diversification of sources of imports and changes in gas pricing mechanism, ensured that prices of petrol and diesel in India declined while the global prices were shooting up, he said.

The minister was participating in a ministerial panel titled ‘Ensuring energy security for nations and industry in a VUCA world’ at India Energy Week 2024, along with Qatar’s energy minister Saad Sherida Al Kaabi and OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais.

VUCA stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It describes the situation of constant, unpredictable change that is now the norm in certain industries and areas of the business world.

Referring to the global energy production and supply situation, Puri said the challenge is to make sure the transition is done in an orderly manner.

“That we have access to traditional fuel and are making a predictable transition to cleaner fuel. Balanced and realistic dialogue is needed and not vilification of fossil fuel.” Al Ghais said that even as energy transition was vital, “energy transition can have multiple pathways. This is how we should look at energy transition. At OPEC, we continue to invest, and we need hundreds of billions of investment over the next 20 years”. He also emphasised the need for investment in fossil fuel production.

“We need to invest as demand is likely to continue to grow,” he added.

Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Qatar, said that renewable sources of energy do not completely solve the global energy needs.

“It is not responsible to say we do not use fossil fuel. It is like humanity shooting itself in the foot,” he added.

Vickram Bharat, Minister of Natural Resources, Republic of Guyana, said the new hydrocarbon found offshore Guyana was a step towards prosperity.

“The new hydrocarbon found offshore Guyana has made the world notice us. Our policy is very simple. Get hydrocarbons out of the ground as fast as possible and use that to build traditional sectors. The window on oil is closing, not so much for gas,” he said.

India has diversified its sources to import crude from 14 countries to 39 nations and is hoping the return of OPEC member Venezuela would add to the country’s list of steady suppliers.

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