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India heavily dependent on imported energy: Foreign Secretary

According to reports, observing that India is “heavily dependent” on imported energy, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai has said the country would naturally want commercial partners in Africa to meet its energy needs through imports of crude oil, LNG and other petroleum products.Mathai said demand for fuel, petroleum products, technologies, jobs and investments in many African countries are on the rise and that they would open avenues to explore for more opportunities for equity investment in the African markets and two way tie-ups.

Addressing the India Africa Hydrocarbon Conference here, Mathai said India is clear that in reforming the UN Security Council there has to be appropriate representation for Africa as well as India as permanent members.

“As emerging economies both India and the nations of Africa have a lot of complementaries, which need to be exploited to their full potential in order to fulfil the developmental aspirations of our citizens,” he said.

Noting that Africa is estimated to have 9.5 per cent of global proven oil reserves, 7.9 per cent of the proven global gas reserves and about 3.8 per cent of the global coal reserves, he said these estimates are likely to grow in future.

“On the other hand, the Indian economy has been one of growth stories of the world economy, but heavily dependent on imported energy. As a result, there has been a steady increase in India’s imports of crude oil, LNG and other petroleum products from Africa,” Mathai said.

He said India has been an ardent advocate of renewable energy in the international arena, particularly in popularising the concept of ‘Energy Access for All’.

India has no alternative but to build on its success so far in harnessing renewable energy, especially solar, wind and biomass and the cooperation between Africa and India should expand.

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