In an augury that recent initiatives between India and Gulf states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are on the right course. the International Energy Agency. IEA. on Wednesday forecast that India’s oil demand would double in the next two decades.
This will make India the single biggest growth market in the world for oil in the foreseeable future and ensure that the role of the Gulf states in India’s energy security is critical.
India’s demand for oil will soar to more than nine million barrels a day by 2040 and the country’s dependence on oil imports will rise to 90 percent in twenty years. the IEA said in its much-awaited World Energy Outlook 2019.
The Outlook was released in the Paris headquarters of IEA and simultaneously made available in New Delhi at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. India’s relations with the IEA have taken root in recent years on parallel lines with its relations with oil-producing countries worldwide.
India joined the IEA as an `Association Country` only in March 2017. But this year. India became the first Association country to ever participate in an IEA Governing Board meeting. About three months ago. the IEA’s Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol visited India.
Road transport needs will be a major factor contributing to India’s rise in demand for oil. The Indian government has been engaged in a large-scale road improvement and building effort. which will pave the way for increased highway use by both commercial and private vehicles.
The Indian government has also been engaged in a major effort to introduce electric vehicles and use renewable energy for transport. but these efforts will not dampen the soaring demand for oil. the Outlook predicted.
Just before the IEA released its Outlook. T. S. Tirumurti. the Secretary in charge of the Gulf. Middle East and Africa in India’s External Affairs Ministry. said. `Energy security has been the main area of India’s engagement with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.
`We are well on our way to transforming the buyer-seller relationship in this sector into a much larger strategic partnership. We deeply appreciate the fact that Gulf countries have been meeting our energy requirements on a reliable and sustainable basis.` he said.