Washington, Apr 28 (PTI) The Trump administration favours export of oil and natural gas to allies and friends like India, a top cabinet official has said.
US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s comments came as US President Donald Trump prepared to take steps towards removing the shackles on offshore energy exploration.
“We would like to export (oil and natural gas) to other countries,” Zinke told reporters at a White House news conference yesterday.
“Part of our national security is to not only be able to provide ourselves with energy independence, but also to provide our allies with energy, certainly liquid natural gas in Europe,” he said, adding that export of oil and natural gas requires infrastructure, which is not the case now.
“We are working our ways to make sure we can reverse that. A lot of it is the infrastructure. And we are quite frankly behind in the infrastructure,” he said.
Zeke was responding questions on possibility of export of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to India and other countries.
Providing US allies with affordable, reliable and abundant energy is something the US is looking into, Zeke said.
“I am a supporter of export,” he said.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had visited the US in March and discussed with energy secretary Rick Perry the export of LNG to India from early 2018.
Indian investments in LNG and Shale sector in the US by both the government and the private sector were also discussed.
Zinke said on Friday Trump would sign an executive order to direct a review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration.
The Department of Interior, he said, would reopen the Obama administration s five-year drilling plan, finalised in November, that restricts lease sales for new drilling to only the Gulf of Mexico and waters off south-central Alaska.
“This order will cement our nation’s position as a global energy leader and foster energy security for the benefit of American people, without removing any of the stringent environmental safeguards that are currently in place,” Zinke said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.