India seeks greater share of Africa’s oil, gas

5 December 2011, Sweetcrude, New Delhi—India said today that increased oil flow from Africa would go a long way in helping it meet its growing crude oil and gas demand.

Addressing the media on the eve of 3rd India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference here, the Minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas, R.P.N. Singh, said New Delhi seeks to expand its presence across the hydrocarbon value chain in Africa.

He said with Africa’s economic development picking up momentum and its energy demands increasing, India is also poised to become a dependable supplier of petroleum products to Africa.

Full text of the Minister’s speech:

The India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference has been conceptualised with the objective to foster bilateral trade relations in the hydrocarbon sector, understand policy and regulatory frameworks and offer opportunities for investment in upstream and downstream sector of the two regions.

With India’s foreign policy focusing on partnering Africa, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in collaboration with FICCI, has initiated the India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference as an institutional mechanism. The 3rd India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference, scheduled to be held at The Grand, New Delhi on 9-10 December, 2011 focuses on the the following:

• Capabilities of India and Africa in the hydrocarbon sector

• Opportunities for boosting India-Africa trade in oil and gas

• Prospects of Indian investment in Africa’s upstream and downstream sectors

• Policy and regulatory frameworks of Africa and India

• Cooperation in capacity building in Africa through human resource development, transfer of technology, research and development, etc.

India is the world’s 4th largest oil importer, with oil & gas constituting 45% of the country’s primary energy basket (oil 35% and natural gas 10%). About 78% of India’s petroleum consumption is met from crude oil imports, while about 25% of natural gas consumption also comes from imports.

To meet this growing demand for crude oil and gas in India, Africa is expected to play a major role in the years ahead. India’s refining capacity, which is 194 million tonnes per annum is set to increase to 238 million tonnes by 2013. This means an additional need of 40 million tonnes of crude per annum. The current demand for gas at 166 mmscmd is projected to go up to 443 mmscmd by 2017.

India has been following a policy of consciously diversifying its sources of crude oil imports so as to reduce its dependence on any particular region of the world. Today, 21.5% (35.3 million tonnes per annum as against 22 million tonnes in 2004-05) of India’s crude oil imports come from Africa, with the major suppliers being Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.

Africa’s vast mineral wealth is still untapped. Africa accounts for 9.5% (132 billion barrels) of the world’s proved oil reserves and 12% (478 million tons per annum) of the world’s oil production. In gas, Africa accounts for 7.9% of the global reserves and 6.5% of the world’s production. India is keen to participate in the exploration & production opportunities in the upstream sector of Angola, Ghana, Sudan, Algeria, Congo, Nigeria, Uganda, Cote D’ Ivoire, Mozambique, Chad, Gabon, Tanzania etc. India’s companies are also interested in farm-in opportunities in gas-producing blocks, especially in Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria.

Africa offers a market for India’s booming petroleum exports. India exported 50 million tons of refined petroleum products during 2010-11 valued at about 40 billion dollars. With our refining capacity increasing further, this figure is likely to touch about 70 million tons by 2014, making India one of the world’s major exporters of petroleum products. With Africa’s economic development picking up momentum and its energy demands increasing, India is poised to become a dependable supplier of petroleum products to Africa.

The Government is encouraging National Oil Companies to aggressively pursue equity oil & gas opportunities overseas. Today, India’s oil companies are present in around 24 countries (Vietnam, Russia, Sudan, Myanmar, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Cuba, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Gabon, Colombia, Nigeria Sao Tome Principe, Trinidad & Tobago, Nigeria, Venezuela, Oman, Yemen, Australia, Mozambique, Libya, Republic of Congo and Timor-Leste), with a total investment by oil PSUs alone of Rs.64,832 crore. In the downstream sector of Africa, India’s oil companies are operating in Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius. India seeks to expand its presence across the hydrocarbon value chain in Africa.

Over the last two editions, the India Africa Hydrocarbons Conference has played an important role in creating a better understanding of the capabilities of India and Africa in the field of oil & gas. It has offered immense opportunities to the stakeholders in the hydrocarbon sector to interact and discuss potential tie-ups in the form of equity investments, project management, joint venture, technology transfer, upgradation of oil & gas infrastructure facilities, development and management of technical skills and human resources, and supply of equipment and consultancy services.

So far, 16 countries have confirmed their participation in the Conference. Of these, 7 countries are being led at the Ministerial level and confirmations from another 2 are awaited (Libya and Sudan). About a dozen more countries will be represented by their Ambassadors / High Commissioners. Besides structured business sessions, there will be G2G meetings, B2B meetings and plenty of networking opportunities for the executives of the oil industries of India and Africa. 53 Indian companies have confirmed participation while more than a dozen National Oil Companies of Africa are expected to attend.

About the Author