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Deora voices concern over high oil prices

business Updated: Nov 06, 2007 21:52 IST
Deepak Joshi
Deepak Joshi
Hindustan Times
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Petroleum minister Murli Deora on Tuesday expressed grave concern at oil prices reaching a record high and its impact on both oil producing and consuming countries.

Delivering special address at first India Africa Hydrocarbon conference and exhibition here, he said, “ The spare capacity across the global supply chain has been diminishing feeding speculative interests in the oil market… This is a matter of grave concern to all developing countries due to the imminent danger of economic dislocation and its cascading effect on both oil producing and consuming countries.”

The minister called for institutionalizing cooperation between Africa and India. Firstly, at the government to government level to address the macro-policy issues. Secondly, at the company/trade body level for joint cooperation in development of upstream and downstream assets. Thirdly, at the research institution level to facilitate setting up of laboratories, carrying out research and technology transfer.

India has been severely impacted by the galloping crude oil prices as it imports 70 per cent of its fuel requirements. The Indian basket of crude is now hovering above $ 88 a barrel.

The public sector oil marketing companies are suffering a revenue loss of Rs. 240 crore a day with the government deciding not to raise the retail prices of motor and kitchen fuels.

“As legitimate energy demands of developing countries grow in order to fuel their economic growth, the spare capacity across the global supply chain has been diminishing feed speculative interests in the oil market,” he stated.

Deora said the greatest challenge today was to provide humankind with its rapidly expanding energy needs in a cost effective and environment-friendly manner.

“Under these trying times, the spectacular oil reserves of Africa are gratifying,” he added.

The minister said African nations must be keen to develop their vast natural hydrocarbon resources for the benefit of their people. This will help in all round prosperity and reduce the disparities in order that these attain their full glory and potential.