Oil demand in India unlikely to peak before 2040: Chairman of Hindustan Petroleum

India is unlikely to see demand for oil peak until 2040 and other forms of energy will slowly and gradually find a place in the country’s energy mix, the head of the country’s third-largest fuel retailer said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to zero emissions from the world’s third largest emitter by 2070.

Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), MK Surana, said oil companies have consciously invested in alternative and cleaner energy sources such as setting up electric vehicle charging stations, biofuels and hydrogen plants.

These investments go in the direction of achieving net zero, he said.

But the world’s third-largest oil-importing and consuming country will continue to depend on oil for the next two decades.

“To reach net zero by 2070, we need to switch to different forms of energy,” he said. But “based on current assessments, peak oil may not occur before 2040. Other forms of energy will slowly and gradually find their way in and meet additional demand.”

The country’s dependence on oil to meet its energy needs will continue because almost all of its road, rail, air and sea transport is done with fuel produced from oil. And their need only increases as the economy grows, generating more economic activity and increasing the mobility of people.

Surana said oil companies are turning to using green energy, such as that generated from solar power, to meet the electricity needs of refineries and other facilities.

This clean energy will be used to produce gasoline and diesel and it will not suppress demand for automotive fuel, he said.

Similarly, hydrogen will be used to produce gasoline and diesel.

“We have to find new ways to produce oil energy,” he said. “We need to provide the energy required by the country keeping costs and economics in mind. We cannot afford the disruptions seen in recent weeks which have led to a spike in global energy prices. “

While countries like the UK saw petrol pumps run out of fuel, India saw retail tariffs rise in line with global prices, but there were no supply constraints in the country.

Surana said crude oil prices could hover around $80-85 a barrel in the October-December quarter.

On Monday, Modi raised the 2030 target for renewable energy capacity from 450 GW to 500 GW and pledged to generate half of the country’s electricity using renewables. India will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 billion tonnes from business as usual by the end of the decade.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Felix J. Dixon