India has potential to emerge as export hub for APAC mkt: Deora

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today said India has potential to emerge as an export hub for the growing Asia Pacific market.

''India's geographical location between East and West Asia makes it an ideal place to emerge as an export hub for the growing Asia Pacific (APAC) market,'' Mr Deora said at the Ministerial Session of 19th World Petroleum Congress on 'Energising India for Sustainable Growth' in Madrid.

India exports have soared more than 10 times from 2.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 1997-98 to over 32 MMT in 2007-08, with foreign exchange earnings of about 26 billion dollars.

The continuous rise in global crude oil price in the last ten years is not sustainable over longer period, he said.

Emphasising on forming strategic alliances and investments from major global players for technology, services and resources, the Minister said, ''Now, time is ripe to find out new technologies, which are harmonious to economic growth and environment-friendly as well.'' In this regard, developed countries should take pro active actions in order to meet the growing energy demand of the world, he continued.

Indian downstream companies, both public and private, are poised to set up new refineries that will enhance capacity by an additional 90 MMT with a cumulative investment of 22 billion dollars.

''We are committed to increasing the product availability for the domestic market and also meeting the requirements of the export market,'' he said.

India's refining capacity today stands higher than its oil demand. This has a sobering effect on the product prices by reducing the mismatch between product demand and supply.

With recent exploration and development efforts under way, crude oil production in the country is likely to increase by over 30 per cent in the next five years, Mr Deora said.

Similarly, natural gas production will more than double from the present level of about 90 million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) by year 2012, he added.

At present, Indian firms have presence in 22 countries.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has made an investment commitment of over seven billion dollars and had an oil and gas production of 8.92 million tonnes in the year 2007-08, the Minister said.

UNI SBA SG AS1830

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