Energy sector CEOs meet PM Modi look to accelerate opportunities

Houston: Chief executives from energy majors, who participated in a round table meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here said they were pleased with the discussion to “further accelerate” opportunities in the energy sector in India.

The energy round table meeting was the first engagement of the Prime Minister after he arrived in the US took place at Hotel Post Oak here.

According to sources, CEOs of 17 global energy companies with a combined net worth of USD 1 trillion and having a presence in 150 countries participated in the round table.

Prime Minister Modi tweeted about the wonderful interaction and said “It is impossible to come to Houston and not talk energy! Had a wonderful interaction with leading energy sector CEOs. We discussed methods to harness opportunities in the energy sector. Also witnessed the signing of MoU between Tellurian and Petronet LNG.”

Ahead of his US visit the PM spoke about his interaction with the CEOs of the energy majors and highlighted that energy has emerged as a new area of mutually beneficial cooperation and is fast becoming an important facet of bilateral relationship with the US.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale along with US Ambassador to India Ken Juster accompanied the Prime Minister at the round table.

Dev Sanyal, executive vice president, regions at British Petroleum (BP) PLC said, “Prime Minister’s vision for energy justice has really resonated not just in India, but also across the world around affordability, access, and sustainability.”

“The entire energy industry in India is very exciting and India is really playing a leading role in the energy transition. The overall numbers speak for themselves.

“Over the next two decades, India will be the fastest-growing part of the world in terms of energy demand. We spoke about what else can be done to further accelerate the great work that has been done by this government in managing this tremendous demand that is there” Sanyal said.

Another CEO, Mike Train, President, Emerson Electric Co said, “It was a real pleasure and an honor to be a part of the meeting. He shared the outlook, the enthusiasm. He wants to have a balanced approach, bringing energy in a sustainable way to India.”

He added, “We are very active in the Indian market. I highlighted the work we have done with ‘Invest India’. We have a big investment we will be finishing next year near Pune – a large manufacturing facility.”

According to sources, the objective of the meeting was to deepen energy cooperation between India and the US as part of the strategic energy partnership.

“All the companies have some engagement or presence with or inside India,” sources shared.

They further added that CEOs talked about enhancing their footprint in India, lauded government efforts towards ease of doing business, steps taken towards deregulation in the sector, supported reforms and policies and were upbeat on the Indian economy.

Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman, IHS Markit said, “It is very important that the Prime Minister came here and it is a huge statement about the India-US partnership in terms of energy… He has come here means we can really build this partnership.”

The participating CEOs were thankful to the Indian government for its support and facilitation.

“The Prime Minister was very kind. He listened to ideas from different people. I am from Air Products… We think the opportunities (in India) are huge at least in the areas that we are focused on. I told the Prime Minister that we see
opportunities to invest billions of dollars in India” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO, Air Products.

On the sidelines of the round table meeting of CEOs with the Prime Minister, an MoU was signed between Tellurian, a Houston based energy major and Petronet LNG.

Petronet will invest USD 2.5 billion in Tellurian’s proposed Driftwood LNG export terminal, in exchange for the rights to 5 million metric tons of LNG per year over 40 years, they added.