4th IAHC 2016


4th IAHC 2016

The two-day 4th India-Africa Hydrocarbons Conference concluded in New Delhi on January 22, 2016 with a resolve to strengthen the relations between India and Africa in all its dimensions, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector. The event saw enthusiastic representation from 21 African countries at various levels, including nine delegations being led by their respective ministers.

In her valedictory address the Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj called for working together and moving towards energy justice from energy poverty. She called for injecting new dynamism in the centuries old relationship between India and Africa by pursuing win-win opportunities in all areas for the larger common good of the people of both regions.

Expressing a great degree of satisfaction over the conduct of the conference the Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said that India recognizes Africa as a valued partner for the comprehensive development of our peoples. During the calendar year, he said, the ministry plans to mount composite delegations comprising upstream, downstream and EPC service providers from both public and private sector to countries where we assess potential for future co-operation. He also announced additional 250 fully funded scholarships for African nationals for technical and professional courses in the hydrocarbon sector in Indian Institutes. He recalled the Indian Prime Minister’s remarks at the inaugural ceremony of the 3rd Africa-India Forum Summit in October, 2015 – ‘African energy helps run the engine of the Indian economy and its resources are powering our industries.’ This conference the Hon’ble Minister said, with the theme ‘Energizing the Bottom of the Pyramid – Together Towards Tomorrow’ provided the platform to discuss specific opportunities in hydrocarbon space.

The delegates were welcomed at the Inaugural Session by the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri K. D. Tripathi.

The lead organisers for the two-day conference were PetroFed and ONGC Videsh Limited with active support from GAIL, IOCL, ONGC, BPCL, EIL, HPCL, OIL, CPCL, MRPL, NRL and Balmer Lawrie. The conference witnessed a theme presentation by Shri N. K. Verma, Managing Director, OVL; a presentation on the upstream sector by Shri S. Mahapatra, Director (Exploration & Development), Oil India Limited; and a presentation on the downstream sector by Shri Sanjiv Singh, Director (Refineries), IndianOil. There were two ministerial sessions of African nations besides an opportunity to participating countries to make a presentation. The two panel discussions on ‘Emerging challenges and mitigating measures in hydrocarbon sector and beyond’ and ‘Regulatory & Fiscal regime challenges and potential solutions to stimulate investment in Upstream and Downstream Sectors’ were moderated by knowledge partner, IHS with participation of senior officials from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and key industry members from both India and Africa. Dr. R. K. Malhotra, Director General, PetroFed was also a panelist in one of the sessions.

At the valedictory session participants were welcomed by Shri A. P. Sawhney, Additional Secretary, MoP&NG and a vote of thanks was proposed by Shri Sunjay Sudhir, Joint Secretary (IC), MoP&NG.

The Minister-led delegations were from Mauritius, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia. Senior officials led the delegations from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozmbique, Uganda, Libya, Cote d’Ivory, Gabon and Sierra Leone.

During the conference the Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan held bilateral meetings with his counterparts as well as the delegations from the other visiting countries. The Hon’ble Minister referred to India’s thrust for achieving a geographically diversified energy basket and said that India will try to increase its oil and gas sourcing from Africa even further. The African countries evinced specific interest in using India’s expertise and assistance in refining, capacity building and training of their manpower for the petroleum industry.