Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, spoke on India’s preparedness amid global tensions. He addressed attendees at the KPMG energy and resources conclave on October 11. Puri emphasized India’s vigilant monitoring of the Israel-Hamas situation. “India is watching this on a real-time basis and will navigate through this both on (oil) availability and other factors,” he shared.
Crude Oil Prices on the Rise:
Crude oil prices saw a jump due to recent events. After a price dip last week, Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 triggered a change. By October 11, prices hit $87 per barrel. Puri voiced concerns over this surge, noting, “rising crude oil prices would have an adverse impact on attempts at global economic recovery.”
External factors also play a role. Puri linked the oil price hike to supply cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia. He drew parallels to the 2008 financial unrest, when high oil prices tanked demand.
India Pivots to Biofuels:
On the topic of renewable energy, Puri spotlighted India’s biofuel initiatives. “India is today the 3rd largest producer and user of ethanol, thanks to nearly tripling production in the past five years. Ethanol blending in petrol has increased from 1.5 percent in 2014 to currently ~11.70 percent,” he said.
Puri also discussed India’s ambitious ethanol goals. The 20 percent ethanol blending target now stands at 2025-26, moving five years ahead. Moreover, about 5,000 fuel stations in India offer E20 fuel.
India’s Growing Global Energy Role:
Ending his address, Puri touched on India’s future in the energy domain. He stated, “India will account for 25 percent of global energy demand growth over the next two decades.“