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India proposes to form Asian oil and gas grid

India calls for cooperation in Asia for forging an Asian oil and gas community.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2005 11:53 IST

India on Friday called for cooperation in Asia- the largest producer and fastest growing consumer of oil and gas - for forging an Asian oil and gas community and proposed a study for forming an oil and gas grid for the continent.

"We would like to initiate a detailed, scientific study of the possibility and feasibility of devising an Asian Oil and Gas Grid," India's Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said in his inaugural address to the Asian Oil Ministers Round Table.

Aiyar said Asia was no longer marginal to the global oil and gas economy. "The era when our production was controlled by others is now behind us, the era when the bulk of consumes lived on other continents is also over. Already, two-thirds of the oil extracted from the bowels of West Asia and South-East Asia finds its way to the markets of Turkey, India, China, Korea and Japan, and other consumption centers in Asia."

The round table, the second being hosted by India, has brought together North and Central Asian oil producing countries Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan - in dialogue with the principal Asian consumer nations - China, Japan, Korea and India.

He suggested creation of interdependence between the Asian oil and gas producers and consumers for controlling volatilities in prices.

"The worst of the Imperial Quest for Oil in the 19th and the first half of 20th Century was the violence and the bloodshed, the deceit and the subversion and the undermining, the shameless exploitation which has stained the sad story of the saga of oil. That is the horror which we must avoid."

"We can together build refineries and gas processing plants and power generation stations and petrochemical units; in short, we can together take on the world- That would be true Energy Security," he said.

Asia has emerged as a major oil consumption center, with present consumption being around 40 per cent of total world consumption of around 82 million barrels per day. Against the increase in global oil consumption of around 3.3 per cent in 2004, Asian consumption increased by over 5 per cent. Asia is projected to continue to be dominant oil consuming center in the next 20-25 years.

The round table, like the previous one of January 2005 when the principal consumers came face to face with the major West Asian producers, would focus on the themes of stability, security and sustainability through interdependency and mutual cooperation in the Asian oil economy, Aiyar said.

New Delhi stressed on developing oil markets geared to emerging realities and promoting criss-cross investments to tie Asian producers and consumers in mutually beneficial engagements.

First Published: Nov 25, 2005 11:53 IST