India is neither reducing nor increasing crude oil imports from Iran, which is facing U.S. and EU sanctions, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy said here on Monday.
Iran, which was India's second biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, had now been relegated to the fourth place. In 2011-12, Saudi Arabia supplied 32.63 million tonnes while Iraq took the second spot with supplies of 24.51 million tonnes. Kuwait supplied 17.67 million tonnes while Iran sold 17.10 million tonnes. For the current year, imports from Iran were estimated at 15-15.50 million tonnes, Mr. Reddy said.
Mr. Reddy said India was likely to emerge as one of the top importers of all energy forms (oil, coal, gas and uranium) in the world.The global demand for energy, he said, grew at 1.3 per cent annually during 1980-2000. This annual growth rate increased to 1.6 per cent during 2000-10. “Going forward, an energy demand growth rate of over 1.5 per cent annually is expected to sustain in the near future,’’ he said.
The Petroleum Minister said India and China would contribute around 40 per cent of the global growth in energy demand during 2010-50.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has evinced interest in joining the multi-billion dollar TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project.
“There is a request from Bangladesh to join the project. We require official note, which will be considered by all the four governments,’’ Turkmenistan's acting Minister of Oil and Gas Industry and Mineral Resources Kakageldy Abdullaev said at the conference.
The four countries had invited firms that could become the consortium leaders for executing the 1,680-km cross-country project. The pipeline length would be increased if the project was extended to Bangladesh.
Mr. Abdullaev said road shows to attract firms, which would build the project, were held recently in New York, London and Singapore, and there was more interest from institutional investors.
The Asian Development Bank is the lead partner for the project, and is helping the four nations put a credible consortium that will build and operate the line passing through Afghanistan and Pakistan territories.