SINGAPORE: India will continue to depend on oil as a mainstay of its energy but its oil demand growth will likely slow as the government pushes for cleaner energy and renewables, Harish Mehta, President, Refining & Marketing at Reliance Industries said on Tuesday.
India is pushing for intervention to support renewables, grid electrification, and the government is trying popularize natural gas and shared mobility, said Mehta said during the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore.
"This will lower down the growth of oil consumption (in India) over the next decades," he said.
However, oil consumption will still increase to 480 million tonnes by 2040 as the renewable push will not completely halt oil demand growth, he said, citing official statistics.
To meet that consumption, India has been boosting its overall refining capacity with first production from its upcoming West Coast refinery expected in 2022.
India has plans to add 190 million tonnes per year of refining capacity over the next 10 years to its existing 228 million tonnes per years, he said.
"Over a period of time, some additional refining capacity would also come and some of the exports which are happening through the private sector will probably get curtailed and would get consumed in the country itself," he said.
Mehta said he is optimistic about the possibilities in the Indian retail fuel sector because of a conducive regulatory environment in the country at the moment.