October 10, 2023
NEW DELHI – Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said that India is watching carefully the ongoing conflict between Israel-Hamas and added it would handle its energy needs with ‘maturity’.
It is worth highlighting that global crude oil prices moved in the northward direction following the Israel-Hamas war that led to large fatalities on both sides.
“As far as the energy sector is concerned, the place where the action is taking place is in many respects the centre of global energy. We will watch very carefully,” the Minister told reporters on the sidelines of the 26th Energy Technology Meet here.
“We will navigate our way through this. These kinds of uncertainties only encourage people to move into sustainable, cleaner fuels,” he opined citing the ‘Global Biofuel Alliance’ as an example.
Brent crude soared as high as about 5 per cent before some correction. The WTI variant too was similarly high.
Since India is a large importer of crude oil from various sources, the latest pressure on energy prices will likely be a dampener.
India is already concerned due to the consistent rise in energy prices since the war between Russia and Ukraine broke out in February 2022.
The Union Minister also said achieving the net zero emissions target by 2070 is a little too long-term, indicating that the country may achieve the milestone ahead of the deadline.
He is of the view that India is moving fast towards energy transition and stated that for GAIL, BPCL and others, the energy transition target is 2035 to 2040.
Energy transition in India will first be from fossil-based to cleaner fuels and further to renewables, he explained.
Last week, Minister Puri urged OPEC to recognize the gravity of the current economic situation.
He raised concerns with the Secretary-General urging him to use his office to ‘imbue a sense of pragmatism, balance, and affordability in the oil markets.’
Puri had a bilateral discussion with Secretary General, OPEC, Haitham Al-Ghais on the sidelines of the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC).