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India set for big role in oil world

In recognition of its growing energy needs, for the first time India will be participating in World Petroleum Council (WPC) Congress in a big way. Deepak Joshi reports.

business Updated: Apr 27, 2008 23:26 IST
Deepak Joshi

In recognition of its growing energy needs, for the first time India will be participating in World Petroleum Council (WPC) Congress in a big way. The conference is scheduled in Madrid from June 29 to July 3. Indian oil companies will showcase their areas of expertise and also field prominent speakers from the industry to formulate India’s position in key policy issues pertaining to energy security.

Efforts are afoot have an India pavilion so as to give a comprehensive picture of development of the country’s oil and gas sector. Earlier, India’s participation in quadrennial event was limited and it was allowed participation only in deliberations.

The WPC is the largest international gathering in the oil and gas industry. Governments, national and international oil companies and representatives of international institutions and suppliers of goods and services worldwide will come together in Madrid to discuss the future of the industry.

India's crude oil import bill has moved up over 38 per cent to $61.16 billion in the first 11 months of 2007-08. India imported 111.089 million tonne of crude oil between April-February 2007-2008 for Rs 2,43,205.5 crore ($61.165 billion) when compared with 101.213 million tonne imported a year ago for Rs 2,00,321 crore ($44.124 billion), according to latest data available from the petroleum ministry.

India also imported 20.19 million tonne of petroleum products, mainly naphtha, LPG, kerosene and diesel, for Rs 54,180 crore ($13.4 billion). Fuel consumption increased 6.4% to 116.711 million tonne between April-February 2007-2008 on double-digit growth in diesel demand at 43.27 million tonne.

The Madrid Congress will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World Petroleum Council, the non-profit organization that promotes the congress and was created in 1933. The Council, made up of 60 countries that account for over 95 per cent of global economic activity, acts as a forum for discussing issues facing the oil industry and is strictly apolitical.

India’s role in WPC has been increasing for the past few years. Petroleum Federation of India (Petrofed), a non-profit organisation that promotes industry functioning with national policy parameters, had in December 2007 conducted a conference along with WPC here on “Responsible business practices in oil and gas sector—implementing UN global compact principles.”