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Need to fortify ties with energy exporting countries: Khurshid

December 13, 2012 17:03 IST

Noting that demand for energy in India is growing at a "terrifying pace", External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said the country needs to explore, enhance, develop and fortify relations with energy exporting countries.

The minister also emphasised on the strategic and economic importance of energy security.

"Demand for energy is growing at a terrifying pace in India and yet not fast enough if we take into account the per capita consumption in India. Sources of energy are depleting at a fast pace and we are already importing 80 per cent of our oil and 25 per cent of our gas requirements," he said.

"Going forward, if we continue to grow at 8-9 per cent import dependence is likely to increase and India would be importing 35-57 per cent of coal, 90-94 per cent of oil and 20-57 per cent of gas by 2031-32," Khurshid said.

Speaking at a seminar "Energy Security Conference 2012" organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Ministry of External Affairs, he emphasised on the

strategic and economic importance of energy security, the opportunities in this area and the strategies and structured approaches that have been adopted by the government.

He said there was a need for better integration for strategising with international markets and enhancing relations with energy exporting countries.

"At the domestic level, we need to optimally exploit and utilise our energy resources; leverage on opportunities provided by coal bed methane and shale gas and develop technologies to scale up renewable energy. In addition in the nuclear field there needs to be some clarity in public perception," Khurshid said.

The minister said, "We have made progress in linking India's electricity grid, the second largest in the world with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh".

"In addition, we plan to put in place additional gas pipeline network of 15,000 km and are in the process of increasing our LNG capacity to 45 million metric tonnes per annum from the current 13.5 mmtpa and have put in place a roadmap for the ambitions Turkmenistan TAPI Gas Pipeline to be commissioned by 2017," he added.

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