Good morning and a warm welcome to all. For those of you that don’t know me I am the British Deputy High Commissioner in Bengaluru, I know our High Commissioner is disappointed not to be here but he is out of the country.
It is my pleasure to welcome the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, to the city of Bengaluru. I am delighted to say that minister Dharmendra Pradhan is coming to our event straight from the UK where he held a successful roadshow for the discovered small fields bidding round in London and had the chance to see first-hand world class UK technology, manufacturing and skills in Aberdeen.
He also met with our top companies and financial institutions. I am keen to hear his views on his visit and how he thinks the UK and India should collaborate going forward.
The UK India partnership is strong and nowhere is that more apparent than in the energy sector. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK last year, our two Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen our collaboration and signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) which commits us to deepening our existing energy relationship - and challenges us to go further.
We have not been complacent. We are looking forward to the first India UK Energy summit and thank you minister for your interest in this. We are also looking forward to a strong UK presence at the petro tech event in December and to closer government to government and business to business ties.
In the 10 months since I came to India, I have been struck by the scale and pace of economic development this country is witnessing.
Stable energy supplies are critical to sustain that development and we have seen that Prime Minister Modi is personally committed to increasing energy access and security for India. Energy is a key component of all his major initiatives including Make in India, Power for All and Smart Cities.
I would also like to complement the minister on the recent policy and regulatory reforms his ministry have made in the Indian oil and gas sector which will further open up India’s energy market to foreign investment and increase domestic production.
Gas has a vital role to play as a city fuel, a cleaner fuel, and a transition fuel as India moves towards a sustainable growth pathway. The purpose of todays’ workshop is to ask what are the actions we need to take to support the growth of the gas market?
I would like to thank IHS Markit Ltd, ICF, Petrofed and all the industry participants for their work so far. I’d also like to thank the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas without whose valuable input and support these projects would not have been possible.
Today’s workshop will focus on identifying new markets for gas, addressing concerns of new consumers and looking at how to unify the voice for gas in India. It is important that we identify actionable solutions to accelerate the Indian Gas market and draw on learnings from the international experience. Going forward we hope to this work will become a forum for discussion and ultimately a place to effect change for the development of the gas sector in India.
I would like to thank the minister for joining us here today particularly after his long trip. The minister’s support here is welcomed and appreciated and I look forward to hearing the minister’s address and wish you all the success for the workshop.