Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Sunday said India needs to work towards increasing the energy supply lines 3 to 4 times at affordable prices over the next two decades to boost economic growth as it is poised to become the third largest energy consumer in the world by 2020.

Speaking at the Petrotech 2014 Conference, Dr. Singh said energy supply at affordable rates was critical for the growth of India’s economy. ``India needs to increase its energy supply by 3 to 4 times over the next two decades. Adequate supply of energy at affordable prices is critical to our economic growth,’’ he remarked.

Terming the development of the oil and gas sectors as important, Dr. Singh said there was a need to bridge the ever-increasing gap between demand and domestic supply. ``With this in mind, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the framework of a stable and enabling policy environment,’’ he told the domestic and international delegates gathered at the conference.

Dr. Singh said a number of changes in energy policy regime in the last few months have been made and called for partnerships with global giants to source technology and produce oil and gas from difficult fields.

He said India currently is the world’s seventh largest energy producer, accounting for about 2.5 per cent of the world’s total annual energy production. But, it is the fourth largest energy consumer and is slated to become the third largest by the year 2020.

He said the global oil and gas industry today requires new technologies and processes, innovative thinking and creative business models to meet emerging challenges now on the horizon. ``The best way of achieving these ends is through partnerships amongst various stakeholders. Such partnerships could result in outcomes like improved recovery from mature fields, exploitation of ultra-deep water energy reserves and progress in complex frontier areas. They could also help in exploitation of unconventional forms of energy, apart from addressing concerns about environmental degradation and climate change,’’ he remarked.

He said India is committed to reducing its carbon footprint as a responsible member of the global community. ``The challenge of achieving high economic growth and yet reducing emissions is a formidable one indeed. But, we are determined to meeting this challenge fully,’’ he added.