Modi to open Petrotech to­day, be­fore magic and oil talk

Break­ing tra­di­tion for the sec­ond time in a row, in­spi­ra­tional talk this year will be given by Delhi-based ma­gi­cian Karan Singh

Business Standard - - ECONOMY & PUBLIC AFFAIRS - SHINE JA­COB

The lat­est edi­tion of In­dia's strate­gic hy­dro­car­bon event — Petrotech2019 — takes off on Sun­day in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion. The bi­en­nial event, ex­pected to see par­tic­i­pa­tion from 70 coun­tries, comes at a time when In­dia is seek­ing from the US an ex­ten­sion of waiver on oil im­ports from Iran while also try­ing to align with con­sumer coun­tries.

The waiver from Amer­i­can sanc­tions —given to eight na­tions: In­dia, China, Italy, Greece, Ja­pan, South Korea, Tai­wan and Turkey — ex­pires in March. Ma­jor con­sumers in Asia are also likely to high­light the con­tentious is­sue of "Asian pre­mium" be­fore global groups like the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Pe­tro­leum Ex­port­ing Coun­tries (Opec).

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will for­mally in­au­gu­rate the meet on Mon­day. The event is ex­pected to see par­tic­i­pa­tion of over 7,000 del­e­gates from over 70 na­tions - in­clud­ing pol­icy mak­ers, man­age­ment ex­perts, sci­en­tists and ser­vice providers.

At least 86 em­i­nent speak­ers will ad­dress the three-day event. Tra­di­tion­ally, the key high­light of the event used to be an in­spi­ra­tional talk by a renowned fig­ure from in­ter­na­tional oil and gas sec­tor. This tra­di­tion was bro­ken in 2016 when an in­spi­ra­tional talk was given by Brahma Ku­mari Shivani, mem­ber of the Brahma Ku­maris World Spir­i­tual Univer­sity, to global hy­dro­car­bon ex­perts.

This year, the mo­ti­va­tional speech is be­ing de­liv­ered by Del­hibased ma­gi­cian-cum-men­tal­ist Karan Singh. Over the last 13 edi­tions, Petrotech has been ad­dressed by var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional lead­ers like global en­ergy scholar Daniel Yer­gin and Ab­dal­lah S Jum'ah, for­mer head of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest pro­ducer of crude oil.

The Con­fer­ence will host two min­is­te­rial ses­sions and a CEOs' Con­clave with par­tic­i­pa­tion from over­seas min­is­te­rial del­e­ga­tions and top global oil and gas ex­ec­u­tives.

In­dia, along with other pe­tro­leum im­port­ing coun­tries, is likely to high­light the is­sue of "Asian pre­mium" once again at the event. In­dian lead­er­ship feels the Asian coun­tries were pay­ing a price of up to $6 a bar­rel more than the US or the Eu­ro­pean re­fin­ers to the West Asian oil pro­duc­ers. This is termed Asian pre­mium. China and In­dia, the world's largest and third­largest con­sumers, re­spec­tively, have flagged the is­sue at many in­ter­na­tional plat­forms.

En­ergy min­is­ters from at least 15 coun­tries have con­firmed their pres­ence. These in­clude UAE, Iraq, Qatar, Nige­ria, Rus­sia, Columbia, Su­dan, Uganda and Kaza­k­istan among oth­ers. How­ever, names of the top busi­ness lead­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event are yet to be con­firmed by the or­gan­is­ers. Apart from this, Opec Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Mo­hammed Barkindo, In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Fo­rum Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Sun Xian­sheng and In­ter­na­tional Gas Union Pres­i­dent David C Car­roll will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, along with the con­fer­ence, will also see par­tic­i­pa­tion from 13 coun­try pavil­ions and about 750 ex­hibitors from over 40 coun­tries, with spe­cial fo­cus on Make in In­dia.

In­dia is likely to high­light the is­sue of ‘Asian pre­mium’, as it has to pay up to $6/bar­rel more than the US or the Eu­ro­pean re­fin­ers to the West Asian oil pro­duc­ers

PHOTO: REUTERS

An ex­hi­bi­tion stall at Petrotech-2016. This year, the event will see 13 coun­try pavil­ions and 750 ex­hibitors from over 40 coun­tries

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