Scotland’s oil and gas sector will strengthen its links with India this week as it welcomes Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to Aberdeen today (Wednesday, 14 September).
The sector will showcase its world-renowned skills and expertise during the visit in a bid to maximise future growth opportunities with the world’s third largest consumer of crude oil and petroleum products.
India is one of the few countries actively exploring new oil and gas fields during the global fall in oil price and offers significant opportunities for Scotland’s oil and gas sector:
Upstream – the Indian Government has taken an ambitious appraisal programme for acquisition of 48,243 km of 2D seismic covering an area of 0.9 million sq km in all Indian sedimentary basins
Midstream – India is the second largest refiner in Asia with 22 refineries. Planned expansion opportunities currently include: ONGC Offshore Oil and Gas block in the Kirshna Godavari Basin in Andhra Pradesh; largest refinery project in Maharashtra announced in February 2016; and development of natural gas regional pipeline grid across the state of Andhra Pradesh.
This visit forms part of a wider three day UK trip organised by the Department of International Trade and Scottish Development International. Prior to arriving in Aberdeen on 14 September where he will be met by Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, Minister Pradhan will also visit London for two days.
Wheelhouse said: “I’d like to take this opportunity of welcoming Minister Pradhan to Scotland and wish him a successful and fruitful visit. Scotland has a long and warm relationship with India and I look forward to discussing this with Mr Pradhan.
“Scotland is home to one of the most respected and experienced oil and gas sectors across the globe – with more than 50 years in some of the toughest conditions in the world, it is recognised globally for its strengths in innovation, technology, skills and training.
“The current downturn is impacting on the sector but we are doing everything in our power to ensure it remains a key player in the long term, including our work through the Energy Jobs Taskforce.
“Maximising international opportunities is a key element of the taskforce’s action plan and through Scottish Development International we are working with partners in India to find the best way of supporting companies in both countries to capitalise on the considerable opportunities that the sector provides.”
International sector head for oil and gas at Scottish Development International, David Rennie, added: “Scotland remains a key global oil and gas player, but if we are to continue to grow we must look to international markets to exploit our skills and experience.
“India is currently the world’s fastest growing large economy with significant oil and gas ambition. Scotland’s expertise, experience and skills makes us the perfect partner to support their ambition and this visit provides a platform for our supply chain to showcase their products and services to key decision makers, discuss current and existing opportunities in India and better understand any challenges with ease of doing business in country.
“We plan to follow up Minister Pradahan’s visit with a mission of our own to Delhi and Mumbai in December this year to support supply chain companies and education providers take forward their international ambitions in this key growing market.”
Hosted at Robert Gordon University, the delegation from India includes national oil and gas companies including ONGC and regulatory body Director General of Hydrocarbon. During the visit Minister Pradhan will also meet with the Oil & Gas Authority, Subsea UK and visit a drilling simulation site at Robert Gordon University.
The Principal of Robert Gordon University, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, said: “We warmly welcome the opportunity to be involved in important discussions on how we can harness the world-leading expertise from the North Sea oil and gas industry to support India’s energy strategy.
“We are looking forward to hosting Minister Pradhan and his delegation as part of their visit, which presents an opportunity to strengthen ties between the UK and India and to showcase our world-renowned skills, expertise and teaching in oil and gas.”