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India asks OPEC to step up output

Special Correspondent

Domestic cos. urged to push up exploration efforts


LNG supply contract to be signed with Algeria

Developing nations hit by rising crude prices


PHOTO: V. V. KRISHNAN

OIL ECONOMICS: R. S. Sharma (second from right), Chairman and Managing Director, ONGC, shaking hands with Abdel Rehman Mohamed Bakhiet, Ambassador of Sudan, at the tenth energy summit in New Delhi on Friday. Kirit S. Parikh (left), Member, Planning Commission, and D. S. Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham, look on.

NEW DELHI: Stating that international crude oil prices had risen to an unprecedented level of $82 a barrel that could have a major impact on the developing economies, India on Friday asked the nations of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to enhance production in order to check the skyrocketing of prices.

“The continued rise in prices of crude oil at the international level was disturbing. Crude oil prices have touched $82 a barrel which was too high for developing nations to absorb the impact on a sustained basis. The only feasible alternative is that the OPEC nations should enhance crude oil production so that disruptions do not take place in crude supplies in order to dissuade oil starved nations like India to look for substitutes for fossil fuel,” Planning Commission Member, Kirit S. Parikh, who is part of the Energy Co-ordination Committee headed by the Prime Minister, said while inaugurating the tenth energy summit on oil and gas organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) here.

He said such developments would force the oil starved nations to intensify their campaign to find crude oil substitutes on a war footing, consequences of which would be averse to OPEC’s interests.

With the current trend of rising prices, he said, India’s dependence on crude oil imports would increase to between 90 per cent and 95 per cent from nearly 70 per cent now.

Mr. Parikh urged the domestic oil producing companies to push up their exploration efforts for discovery of oil and gas by optimally exploiting marginal fields and blocs offered under the stipulations of New Exploration and Licensing Policy.

Speaking on the occasion, Algeria’s Ambassador to India, Noureddine Bardad-Daidj, said that Petronet LNG would shortly sign a long-term contract for importing 1.25 million tonnes of LNG annually for 25 years.

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