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Hydrocarbon demand here to stay, believe energy firms, policymakers

Amritha Pillay/New Delhi 10 Feb 19 | 10:27 PM

Even as growth in the renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) segment threatens the conventional energy land scape, oil marketing companies (OMCs), oil and gas producers, and policy makers remain confident that demand for hydrocarbons is here to stay. 


The industry experts voiced their opinions at the chief executive officer (CEO) conclave on Sunday.

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MM Kutty, secretary for petroleum & natural gas, expects hydrocarbon, motor spirit and gas will play an important role, even with the growth of the EV market.


Representatives from the oil producers’ community voiced similar views. “In percentage terms, the numbers look high, but absolute numbers would show a different picture. We should not be concerned about it. However, we do realise the situation is challenging," said Shashi Shanker, chairman and managing director (CMD), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) with respect to the double-digit growth in the renewable energy space.


The industry is also facing challenges with the rise in energy efficiencies, according to oil refining companies. 


Referring to the lower fuel consumption resulting from the push in the automobile sector for higher-energy efficient engines, Sanjiv Singh, CMD, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), added, “In India, the major shift that can happen is the energy efficiency and change in business models. We cannot ignore any change in the transportation sector, when they are driving most of our demand."


Khalid bin Khalifa Al-Thani, CEO, Qatargas, referring to his firm’s capacity expansion plans said, “I do not think this is enough. More gas will be needed for the world demand." 


Qatargas is expected to take its current capacity of 77 million tonnes (mt) to more than 100 mt by 2024. 


He also added, along with gas infrastructure development and policy push, India should look to bring the product under the goods and services tax preview.


Others such as B C Tripathi, CMD, GAIL, “expects the energy basket to go through a change, where the firm expects renewables and gas to dominate in the future."


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