Dubai, Oct 25 (IANS) India's petroleum minister S. Jaipal Reddy Tuesday called for a concerted global effort against increasing speculation and paper barrels - oil that has been produced but doesn't have a shipping date - which contribute to sustained high international oil prices.
Speaking at the ministers' roundtable on fossil fuels at the World Energy Forum in Dubai, Reddy said speculation and paper barrels "neither helps the producers nor the consumers of oil and gas. An appeal needs to go out from this Forum to address these problems."
Ministers from 9 countries, in the first such roundtable at the forum, discussed the important role of oil, natural gas and coal in the global economy, the accompanying environmental challenges and ways that governments and industry are working to mitigate negative externalities.
Pointing to the huge inequity among nations in terms of both oil and gas prices, the Indian petroleum minister said crude price differences between Brent and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) prices has been, at times, as much as $25 per barrel.
"Governments in developing countries, including India, cannot reduce subsidies below a point since they have to be sensitive to the minimum needs of poor people," he added
Currently, 87 percent of global energy basket comprises fossil fuels. For India the figure for fossil fuels is 92 percent.
Among fossil fuels, it is projected that natural gas will be the fastest growing source of primary energy. Coal will continue to be the predominant source for electricity generation, globally at 30 percent and in India at 53 percent.
The minister furthur told the roundtable that with the emergence of shale gas as a major alternative to conventional hydrocarbons India is looking to acquire shale gas assets abroad and to produce domestically.
"We (oil ministry) have formulated a draft policy on shale gas exploration and invited comments from the stakeholders", Reddy said.