India government is hosting 22 African countries including Nigeria at the India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference.
The conference which opened Thursday in New Delhi will be the fourth edition of the event.
The Indian government hopes to consolidate the discussions that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had with delegates at India-Africa Summit three months ago.
India’s domestic production of crude oil has plateaued at 37 million tonnes (mt) and is likely to remain at this level with little likelihood of future discoveries and technological breakthroughs.
Africa is likely to be a significant source of meeting India’s hydrocarbon needs in the years to come which will also help India diversify its source of crude from volatile West Asia.
In 2014, India had imported 32 metric tonne of crude, 15 per cent of its consumption that year, from Africa.
This was primarily from Nigeria and Angola and currently, India’s oil imports from Africa stand at 7.5 per cent.
Nigeria is among India’s top four sources of gas which include Qatar, Australia and Equatorial Guinea.
India imports 76 per cent of its crude oil needs, which by 2030 is estimated to reach 90 per cent and the country also imports 37 per cent of its gas requirement.
In 2015, India’s gas imports from Africa doubled compared to 2013; India accounted for eight per cent of Africa’s gas exports in 2015, compared to four per cent in 2013, official sources said.
Apart from energy security, India hopes to nurture the growth of African hydrocarbon sector by providing its expertise in oil exploration, refining, consultancy, training and infrastructure development.
India is also a major exporter of refined petroleum products and Africa is the second largest destination for these products. Seventeen per cent of India’s refined products are headed for Africa. New Delhi expects this figure to rise to 20 per cent.