Energy cooperation is emerging as a key pillar of Indo-US strategic partnership that has the potential to surpass bilateral defence agreements. President Donald Trump’s visit saw the conclusion of a pact for the supply of US gas to India.
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan described the energy ties as multifaceted, as India and the US signed the deal for strengthening collaboration between Indian Oil Corporation, Exxon and Chart Industries for supplying liquefied natural gas.
The agreement will promote access to gas in areas where the current pipeline infrastructure has not been developed. Till the time that gas pipeline network is developed in the country transportation of gas through container is an efficient alternative.
Exxon and Chart have expertise in transporting gas through containers and the agreement will give India expertise and facilities for transporting clean and efficient access to gas to areas yet to be connected through pipeline network.
“We jointly reviewed the ongoing strategic energy partnership between our two countries and agreed to take it to the next level,” Pradhan tweeted after meeting US energy secretary Dan Brouillette. “Our energy equation with the US is now a multifaceted one — the Strategic Energy Partnership, established in 2018, has provided an effective institutional structure to align our interests, expectations and synergies.
This is evident from the fact that the energy trade touched $7.7 billion last year — this intensity of energy exchange is a story of the last two years. There is much potential for further capital, technology and innovation infusion to develop better ecosystems in both countries. We see the relations only growing more robust and one that will be capable of withstanding the test of time,” Pradhan said.
In 2019, India increased its intake of oil from the US to about 1,84,000 barrels per day, four times more than in 2018, and up from zero imports just four years ago.