The fifth annual India Energy Forum began on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conference. The three-day event will be attended by around 50 CEOs from major global energy companies.

India will drive the global energy demand as consumption is expected to double over the long term, PM Modi said while addressing the forum. He added that the nation’s “reform journey has been on high speed in the last five years.” 

While the focus is to make India a gas-based economy, the government will also be raising oil refining capacity from 250 million tons per annum currently to 450 million tons by 2025 to keep self-reliance in sync with demand, Modi said.

According to him, India’s energy future is bright and secure, and access to energy should be affordable and reliable. “Our energy sector will be growth-centric, investor-friendly and environment conscious,” the PM said.

Addressing the India Energy Forum. Watch.

The virtual event’s participants include Igor Sechin, chairman of Russian firm Rosneft; the CEO of BP, Bernard Looney; chairman & CEO of French company Total, Patrick Pouyanne; the CEO of US business Schlumberger, Olivier Le Peuch; and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo.

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz will also be present at the online forum.

The participants will discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on India’s future energy demand, energy transition and the climate agenda, the pace of innovation, and market and regulatory reforms. They will also talk about strategies for accelerating investments into the Indian oil and gas industry. 

“The importance of such a global meet comes when you realize that the country is set to see such large investment this decade,” an Indian government official told the Business Standard.

According to PM Modi’s office, as the world’s third-largest energy consumer and the fourth-biggest LNG importer, India “is likely to see over $300 billion investment by 2030 in the oil & gas sector to meet rising demand.”

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