With India's economy poised for a robust growth in the next few years, 'energy security' has become the focal point for policy formulation. From domestic finds in oil and gas to acquiring hydrocarbon assets abroad, dealing with foreign investors and negotiationg trans-national pipelines - all these issues have become key points in India's quest to secure its energy future. Energy Security has to be one of the focal points of our diplomacy at least till the middle of this century. Though we have a hydrocarbon deficiency, our immediate and proximate neighbourhood is simply soaked in hydrocarbons. The largest availability of natural gas in the world is in Qatar. The fact is that thorium based energy would not be useful at least till the middle of this century. There is a need to competitively access oil and gas instead of finding ourselves stranded in a sellers' market. We have to become 'predators and hunters’ for energy sources to keep our economy boiling. An Appropriate Energy Policy.... Few pointers:
* We need to pursue an aggressive oil and gas diplomacy. We need an effective 'National Energy Policy' and a 'National Energy Security Advisor'.
* We need to have an explorer-friendly exploration policy if the domestic natural gas output is to surge. Indeed, the role of natural gas should be given high priority.
* The number of blocks for exploration as well as the number of awards must be increased for the private bidders. Production-sharing contracts should be unambigously drafted and terms redefined to the advantage of the investor. This is the only way we can encourage both international and domestic investors.
* Being geographically fortunate, we need to utilise access to the gas reserves of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and other CIS countries. We need to build a network of pipelines to access natural gas reserves in Myanmar and South Korea as well as Sakhalin, where we have a...