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Modi taps energy titans

- Action hots up in oilfields as companies gear up for investment drill

New Delhi, Dec. 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made a strong pitch for global energy companies to invest in India's oil and gas sectors as the country prepares to roll out a new exploration policy that offers pricing and marketing freedom to operators.

Rising oil prices above $50 a barrel after an Opec output cut offer encouragement to explorers even as oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, speaking at the same Petrotech 2016 event as Modi, warned that the Opec output cut will put at risk India's growth.

"My message to global hydrocarbon companies is come and Make in India. Our commitment is strong and our motto is to replace red tape with red carpet," Modi said at the inauguration of Petrotech 2016.

Modi said the economy was expected to grow five-fold by 2040. According to estimates, India is poised to account for one fourth of the incremental global energy demand between 2013 and 2040. India is expected to consume more oil in 2040 than the whole of Europe.

The Prime Minister's attempt to woo investors comes at a time things are looking bright for global oil companies in the wake of an agreement at the recent Opec meeting to cap output that caused prices to rise above $50 a barrel.

Pradhan sought a balance between the interests of producers and consumers as the production cut by the oil cartel will put at risk India's growth trajectory. "The proposed cut caused a surge in oil prices to above $50 a barrel and speculation is rife that it might go up even further. It is a coincidence that we are meeting immediately after the Opec decision in India, which is a major oil consuming economy," Pradhan said.


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