The Petroleum Minister Murli Deora on Wednesday underlined the need for sustainable international oil prices. High oil prices are neither in the interest of oil importing countries nor beneficial to the exporting nations, he told a ministerial round-table of Asian oil producers and importers at Riyadh.
An official statement said referring to the three-fold increase in global oil prices between 2000 and 2006, he pointed out that high oil prices in the long run will adversely impact both oil producing and importing countries.
"High oil prices leads to a fall in demand by encouraging conservation and technological innovations and makes alternative investments for energy attractive, besides putting strains on the resources of oil-importing developing countries," Deora said, calling for appropriate policy reforms and practical measures to ensure that the prices remained stable and affordable in the long run.
Deora strongly supported the idea of greater inter-dependence, supplemented by cross investment in energy markets to promote the shared interests of energy producers and consumers.
The minister called upon Asian countries to explore various opportunities for forging partnerships in oil and gas sector. This, he explained, is required for optimum exploration of hydrocarbons, expansion and modernization of refining infrastructure, augmentation of regional oil and gas transport infrastructure and exchange of information and development of knowledge in Asia.
In an effort to give shape to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, Deora met Iranian Oil Minister Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh and Pakistani Petroleum Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon to discuss cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.
In the meeting with the Iranian Minister, Deora discussed the vexed issue of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) contract as a follow-up of their last meeting in Tehran. It may be recalled that Deora recently returned from his tour of Iran where he had discussed both IPI (India-Pakistan-Iran) gas pipeline project as well as the India-Iran LNG contract for 5 million tonnes, which was signed in June 2005 at Tehran.