To re-energise trade in the Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals sector between India & Iran, a highpowered delegation led by Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India will be visiting Iran, . Apart from PSUs, a strong private sector presence is being ensured by FICCI under the leadership of Mr. Y.K. Modi, Past President FICCI and Executive Chairman, GEECL and private sector players like the Essar Group, Reliance Industries Ltd, L&T, John Energy and Deepak Nitrite. This visit is in sync with our energy security imperatives and is extremely important from the perspective of foreseeable growth in India’s economic activity and crude oil & gas import requirements.
Pursuant to the sanctions imposed by the Western nations led by USA, oil trade between India and Iran which stood at $12 billion has virtually dried up. However, with the nuclear deal between Iran and P5 plus one, and end of sanctions on the Islamic Republic coming into effect, there is hope of revival of series of new, lucrative investment opportunities for India and Iran. The three-day visit would primarily focus upon ‘re-engaging with the resource-rich Iranian upstream, downstream & petrochemicals companies, to fuel India’s vast energy requirements’. We are hopeful that the discussions will enable the two regions to revive the economic relationship that has been disrupted in the last two years due, compelling India to break the traditional economic ties. This re-engagement with an old ally in a geopolitically sensitive area will not only counter-balance our strategic interests in the area but also help in ensuring Energy Security.
Mr. Y K Modi, Past President, FICCI and Executive Chairman, GEECL leading the FICCI Business Delegation stated that “given the fact that oil market is plagued by risk of high and low price cycles as a result of demand and supply shocks, in such circumstances, there is a need to jointly manage price risk and demand & supply shocks by both the consumer and producer nations. In a changing environment, India needs to position itself not only as a destination for Iran energy supplies but also as a hub of investments and provider of technology and services”. Due to abundant oil & gas endowment and geographic proximity, Iranian oil & gas sector is bound to act as a catalyst to boost the bilateral trade between the two regions. Iran will be equally interested to lock in Asian energy market on a long-term basis as the Western countries have successfully reduced their imports, through unconventional energy sources such as shale gas and strengthening renewables.
The visiting delegation looks forward to exploring the following avenues of cooperation:
· As natural gas forms the primary input for Petrochemical and Fertiliser plants, and India has achieved many decades of quality experience in construction and operation of these units, avenues for establishing these plants could be studied.
· From the Petrochemical industry perspective, the Indian companies are seeking opportunities to facilitate access to low-cost feedstock to make petrochemicals, which than can be imported into India for value addition for downstream industries right from textiles, plastics, paints, dyes, pharmaceuticals, etc · India constitutes immense potential in terms of unexplored and partially explored Oil & Gas acreage including offshore, deep-water and ultra-deep-water hydrocarbon blocks. Owing to geographical proximity and experience of Iran Exploration & Production, India looks towards building long term commercial partnerships.
· Opportunities in E&P services and unconventional hydrocarbons in the region and joint development of E & P and refining business, cooperation in the area of R&D, EPC, technology transfer and building local capacity.
· Setting up of the sub-sea pipeline, proposed by the private sector consortium from Chabahar/Ras al Jafan (Oman) to Porbander (South Gujarat) with a capacity to transport 1 Billion Standard Cubic Feet Per Day of gas (31.1 Million Cubic Meters Per Day).
· India also looks forward to playing a greater role in offering all possible support to contribute to the nation’s larger economic strengths and socio-political stability.