Pranab to open first Indo-Afro Hydrocarbon Conference

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New Delhi, Nov 6: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the first India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference here today. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora will deliver a special address during the inaugural session. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel in the afternoon.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, FICCI and UNCTAD are jointly organising a two-day conference. The primary objective of this initiative is to provide a platform for exploring mutually beneficial partnership opportunities between Africa and India in the hydrocarbon sector.

India, one of the leading consumers of hydrocarbons has also established its expertise in providing consultancy services, undertaking turnkey projects, exporting supplies like equipments, plastics, chemicals, pipeline materials required at different stages in upstream, midstream and downstream operations in the sector.

Indian hydrocarbon sector, today, has become a hub of opportunities spread across all business segments. A high level of economic growth is driving the country's demand for energy, promising a ready market for energy sources on long-term basis.

India is one of the leading importers of oil and gas. It also has tremendous potential for exports of almost all kinds of products and services required in the exploration, operation and maintenance, transportation and refining processes.

With its rich reserves and new finds, Africa is fast emerging as a hotspot in the world energy map. The improving socio-economic conditions of the African countries, substantial onshore/ offshore hydrocarbon discoveries, commissioning of numerous fields, initiatives of various African countries in promoting foreign investment in the energy sector have together earned Africa a strategic position in the world energy map.

In this direction, India and Africa could be easily identified as natural allies and have reasons to be interdependent. Against this backdrop, MOPNG, FICCI and UNCTAD have jointly come together for this initiative to forge an 'India – Africa Partnership in Hydrocarbons. India's increased presence and role in the hydrocarbon-rich and strategically significant Africa has important implications.

This conference and exhibition will showcase the international competitiveness of Indian companies in the hydrocarbon sector and bring together industry specialists, senior officials from governments, regulatory agencies, corporates, and senior bankers, to interact with visiting delegations from African countries for joint ventures, technology transfer and trade.

Twelve Ministers of Energy from Africa will be leading delegations to this conference. All the leading public and private sector players from India like, ONGC, IOC, GAIL, HPCL, BPCL, EIL, OIL, OVL and Reliance will showcase the Indian hydrocarbon sector.

The participating companies from Africa include SONATRACH, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), GNPC, BP Exploration, BNP Paribas, Sudapet, Petrosen, Namcor, Lubcon, Patro SA, Kenya Investment Authority and Credit Agricole.

In total around 100 international participants from 25 African countries like Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Sudan, Egypt, Gabon, Congo, Chad, Cameroon, Tunisia, Mauritania, Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia and Tanzania will participate.

Besides focusing on trade, treaty and regulatory regimes governing Indo-African trade and investment environment, the conference offers discussion on Indo-African partnership opportunities in upstream and downstream sectors, gas sector and EPC and services sector.

There will be parallel sessions for Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings between visiting Ministers and CEOs from Africa with Indian business leaders and CEOs and African business leaders and CEOs with Indian policy makers and business leaders.

ANI>

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