Africa’s burgeoning role in India’s energy security is on display at the India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference in New Delhi, which has brought officials and ministers from 22 African countries to draw a roadmap for expanding cooperation in this crucial area.
Nine countries have been represented at the ministerial level, which includes, among others, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritius, Sudan and South Sudan.
Building on discussions at the third India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi in October last year, India is looking to import more oil from the African continent.
India’s oil imports from Africa rose from 15.5 percent to 26 percent in May 2015. “Over the past two decades, the African hydrocarbon sector has been expanding rapidly as also the interests of Indian oil companies in the continent,” India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said at the inaugural session of the Fourth India-Africa Hydrocarbon conference, “It is clear from our crude import figures that Africa has played an important role in India’s energy security. We imported 32 Million Metric Tonnes of crude in 2014 from Africa, including 3 Million Metric Tonnes from North Africa and 29 Million Metric Tonnes from West Africa, mainly from Nigeria and Angola. This constitutes approximately 16% of our consumption. This is going to increase in the coming years.”
The number of African countries that have proven reserves of oil or gas has increased from seven in 1990 to 25 in 2015. India imports 76 per cent of its crude oil needs, which is estimated to reach 90 per cent by 2030. The country also imports 37 per cent of its gas requirement.
Being the faster growing economy in the world, India is looking to diversify its energy imports. “To sustain our economic growth, particularly the “Make In India” programme, I expect energy demand to go up further. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2015, India will contribute around 25% of the growth in global energy demand and would thus be the single largest contributor to energy growth globally,” Mr Pradhan said.
Besides energy, the two sides are looking to expand cooperation in key areas, including capacity building, environmental sustainability, human resource development and employment generation.
India and Africa are expected to come out with a roadmap to develop strategies for the next big steps to be taken to enhance energy cooperation. The two sides are exploring opportunities at various levels to be partners in their growth and resources. Africa is rich in natural resources and India has been pushing its National Oil Companies to enhance their partnerships with African nations.
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