Pradhan to lead Indian delegation to WPC


NEW DELHI:  Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today left for Istanbul to represent India at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress even as the size of his delegation was truncated by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

            He will be “chairing a Ministerial Session on the subject ‘Current Economic Strategies in Indian Oil & Gas Sector’ and a Plenary Session on ‘Supply and Demand Challenges for Oil, Gas and Products’,” an official statement said here.

            Pradhan is also scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings with petroleum ministers of other countries visiting at WPC from July 10-12.

            Besides, he will launch an event on Hydrocarbon Exploration & Licensing Policy (HELP) as a part of process of promoting the upcoming oil and gas bidding rounds in India.

            While the statement did not say who are accompanying the minister, sources said the PMO had curtailed the size of his ministerial delegation to 7 from 12 proposed by his ministry.

            Those authorised to travel to WPC include his Private Secretary Binaya Srikanta Pradhan, Oil Secretary Kapil Dev Tripathi, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) Sanjay Sudhir and DGH Atanu Chakraborty, they said.

            Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjeev Singh and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf have also been approved to travel.

            Sources said the PMO did not give permission to five others including Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) head MK Surana, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) Chairman D Rajkumar, GAIL India chief BC Tripathi and Oil India Ltd Chairman Utpal Bora.

            Some of the executives who have been denied permission were to speakers at different sessions.

            “The tri-annual WPC Conference is widely recognised as the ‘Olympic’ of the oil and gas industry,” the statement said.

            It added that the event attracts ministers, CEOs of oil and gas MNCs, experts and academics from the hydrocarbon sectors and it provides an ideal forum to showcase potential of India’s hydrocarbon sector.

            WPC will also offer an opportunity to highlight the country’s recent policy reforms to international investors and interact with policy makers, technologists, scientists and entrepreneurs, among others, so as “to attract foreign investments into India’s growing oil and gas sector”, it said. (AGENCIES)


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