Tuesday, July 14, 2020
USISPF hosted a virtual roundtable with Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, the Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Government of India, and industry leaders from the U.S. and Indian energy sectors. The session was also joined by Amb. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Ambassador of India to United States, Shri Tarun Kapoor, Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and the Chairmen and Managing Directors (CMDs) of various public sector undertakings, including ONGC, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, OIL, GAIL, EIL, PLL, MRPL, BPRL, Coal India Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited, and NHPC. This session was held in advance of the upcoming U.S-India Strategic Energy Partnership Dialogue on July 17th. The purpose of the discussion was for the Honorable Minister to share his priorities and areas for collaboration with the United States, and for USISPF members to brief Minister Pradhan on how industry and government can further strengthen the U.S.-India energy partnership.
During the session, Minister Pradhan emphasized the importance of the strategic energy partnership, stating that it will go long way in advancing shared goals between U.S. and India, including universal energy access, strengthened energy security, and increased energy trade between the two countries. He added, “Energy infrastructure is a key component in transforming India as a global manufacturing hub of the 21st century and achieving the goal of self-reliance. India is going to witness an investment of over US$ 118 billion across the oil and gas value chain in the next few years. I welcome US energy industry leaders to leverage these opportunities and also collaborate with Indian companies to facilitate and develop tie-ups in innovative initiatives.”
Ambassador Sandhu reiterated the Minister’s point on the importance of the Strategic Energy Partnership and praised the “remarkable growth” in U.S.-India energy cooperation since 2017. He characterized the U.S. and India as symbiotic partners in the energy sector, as the U.S. is a leader in the clean energy sector and India a prime market for clean energy. Ambassador Sandhu also highlighted the efforts of multiple Indian public sector companies who have invested around $550 million in the U.S. energy market, which is an indication of the commitment to the shared goals of U.S. and India in the energy space.
Around 60 senior representatives from USISPF member companies joined the session and pledged their support to the U.S.-India Strategic Energy Partnership. Ernie Thrasher, the Founder, CEO and CMO of Xcoal Energy and Resources, stated that India’s economic growth will require a “full spectrum” of energy sources, and that U.S. companies have the “experience, technology, and wherewithal to support the provision of energy” to meet India’s growth goals. Mike Train, President of Emerson and Chairman of Emerson Automated Solutions, stated that “India’s economy, and the growth it represents, is important to the world.” He added, “India will need all kinds of energy as it transitions to a gas-based economy.”
Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director at ReNew Power, highlighted hydrogen and carbon capture storage as opportunities for U.S.-India energy cooperation.