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Moily bats for oil hunt

The new minister for petroleum and natural gas, Veerappa Moily, 72, said on Monday that his priority would be to intensify domestic oil and gas exploration to reduce import dependence.

delhi Updated: Oct 29, 2012 21:55 IST
HT Correspondent

The new minister for petroleum and natural gas, Veerappa Moily, 72, said on Monday that his priority would be to intensify domestic oil and gas exploration to reduce import dependence.

"Emphasis will be on quick decision making and innovation. Delaying decisions will cost the nation," he said after taking charge.

Lauding his predecessor S Jaipal Reddy, under whom the ministry was accused of being indecisive and almost halting oil and gas exploration, Moily said Reddy had done "wonderful job, setting highest standard of probity in administration".

Decisions, he said, would be taken keeping the national interest in mind and not to be "benefit one or two individuals or companies."

Moily said a conducive environment would be created for domestic and foreign companies to explore for oil and gas so as India's import dependence, which is at an alarming level of 80%, is reduced.

"We need to create that kind of confidence with the investors that this is the country that (should be their) investment destination," Moily said.

Moily said over $13 billion have been committed in the nine rounds of the new exploration licensing policy, which have resulted in 254 exploration licences.

"Efforts will be to remove bottlenecks, if any, towards augmenting this investment on ground," he said.

"Average consumption of petroleum products in developed countries is 14 barrels per person per year. In developing nations, it is 3 barrels. India's picture is not at all a happy. It is approximately 1.2 barrel per person per year," he said.

"This is a matter of great concern. Our endeavour would be to bring up consumption to decent level of six barrels per person per year. We have to prepare a roadmap for that," he said