Arab-India Energy Forum: New Delhi’s reliance on oil from West Asia unlikely to wane; here’s why

On Wednesday, the first edition of the two-day Arab-India Energy Forum (AIEF) concluded after discussing a range of issues on boosting two-way energy cooperation and intra-regional power trading.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs, the event was held in the virtual format under the co-chairship of India and the Kingdom of Morocco and the inaugural session of the forum was addressed by RK Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy and Mines of Morocco, and Kamal Hasan Ali, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs of the League of Arab States (LAS).

“The subsequent plenary sessions explored the potential and challenges of cooperation in the fields of energy transition, intra-regional power trading, hydrocarbons and nuclear power generation,” the MEA said in a statement. The panellists were drawn from a wide range of public and private sector institutions from India and the LAS member states as also key regional organisations such as the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) and the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA).

“The forum witnessed exchange of knowledge, expertise and best practices in the fields of energy efficiency programmes for different economic sectors, accelerated development of new and renewable energy, fostering regional power-sharing arrangements, enhanced oil recovery, tight gas extraction and safe nuclear power generation etc.,” the MEA said. “There was also a discussion on respective national regulatory policies governing these sectors, investment opportunities as well as R&D and training collaboration possibilities,” it added.

While the inaugural edition of the forum passed off successfully, the underlying facts in question remain the same. That India has a voracious appetite for oil.

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