India seeks Asian oil and gas grid

By agencies   |   Friday, 25 November 2005, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India today called for cooperation in Asia for forging an Asian oil and gas community and proposed a study for forming an oil and gas grid for the continent.

"We would like to initiate a detailed, scientific study of the possibility and feasibility of devising an Asian Oil and Gas Grid," Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said.

Aiyar said Asia, the largest producer and fastest growing consumer of oil and gas, was no longer marginal to the global oil and gas economy. "The era when our production was controlled by others is now behind us, the era when the bulk of consumes lived on other continents is also over. Already, two-thirds of the oil extracted from the bowels of West Asia and South-East Asia finds its way to the markets of Turkey, India, China, Korea and Japan, and other consumption centers in Asia."

The round table, being hosted by India for the second time, has brought together North and Central Asian oil producers like Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan - in dialogue with the principal Asian consumer nations - China, Japan, Korea and India.

Aiyer said there was a need for creation of interdependence between the Asian oil and gas producers and consumers for controlling volatilities in prices.

"The worst of the Imperial Quest for Oil in the 19th and the first half of 20th Century was the violence and the bloodshed, the deceit and the subversion and the undermining, the shameless exploitation which has stained the sad story of the saga of oil. That is the horror which we must avoid."

Aiyar said both producers and consumers could jointly invest in infrastructure to gain energy security for the region. "We can together invest in exploration, production, transportation, ship-building and shipping, in ports and terminals."

"We can together build refineries and gas processing plants and power generation stations and petrochemical units; in short, we can together take on the world- That would be true Energy Security," he said.

The round table, like the previous one of January 2005 when the principal consumers came face to face with the major West Asian producers, would focus on the themes of stability, security and sustainability through interdependency and mutual cooperation in the Asian oil economy, Aiyar said.

New Delhi has for long stressed on developing oil markets geared to emerging realities and promoting two-way investments to tie Asian producers and consumers in mutually beneficial engagements.

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