Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, who is in Washington, DC, discussed with the new US Energy Secretary Rick Perry the possibility of importing LNG from America and India’s investment in the energy sector there.
Pradhan met Perry during an unscheduled trip to the US Capitol and discussed energy cooperation between India and the US, Indian investment in Liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shale sectors, and the possibility of the US exporting LNG to India from early next year.
Perry said co-operation between India and the US in the energy sector was in their mutual interests as India's energy need is set to see a rapid increase as the economy expands.
Pradhan arrived in Washington, DC, from Houston, a city located near the Gulf of Mexico, where he attended the influential CERAWeek energy conference and launched the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP).
On the sidelines of the conference, Pradhan held bilateral meetings with counterparts from Russia, Sri Lanka, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih is expected to visit India soon.
Pradhan also met the CEO of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company; Bob Dudley, CEO of British Petroleum; and International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol.
In Washington, DC, Perry, who took over the department last week, strongly pushed for a Houston visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year. He said Modi's meeting with the strong energy community in Houston could add a new dimension to bilateral ties.
The dates of Modi's US visit are still being worked out.
Pradhan, who invited Perry to India for the next round of India-US Energy Dialogue later this year, said he would convey his message to the prime minister.
Pradhan said the US energy secretary believes energy is the next frontier for India-US relationship.
On Tuesday, the Union minister met Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who appreciated the Indian-American community and said that he plans to lead a trade delegation to India soon.
During the visit, Oil India signed an MoU with HoustonUniversity to work on CO2 injection technology to enhance production in Assam.
Pradhan started his US tour from Boston, where he interacted with students and faculty members of MIT, HarvardKennedySchool and FletcherSchool of Law & Diplomacy at TuftsUniversity. At MIT, he also met former US Energy Secretary Prof Ernest Muniz.
Both in Boston and Houston, Pradhan met members from the Indian community, including scientists of Indian origin.
Image: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photograph: Courtesy, Pradhan on Twitter.