India wants to unlock $40bn in oil and gas through reforms to encourage investment

Jessica Morris
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India currently imports about two-thirds of its oil needs (Source: Getty)

Global oil inventories continue to rise, ships are being lined up to hold oil, while agencies warn the world is "drowning" in the black stuff.

But now India wants to unlock oil and gas resources worth almost $40bn (£28.2bn) by simplifying licensing rules and offering price incentives to recover gas from difficult offshore fields.

It currently imports about two-thirds of its oil needs, with bulk of that supplied from the Middle East.

The reforms would give companies more freedom to set the price of gas from new discoveries and existing finds not yet in production. However, they'll still be subject to a price ceiling, which will be reviewed every six months.

This will help encourage investors who have been put off by regulated low prices for gas from prolific but challenging deepwater field.

"Resource worth 2.61 trillion rupees will be brought to production as a result of today's decision," Indian oil minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, said.

Brent crude prices have tumbled from a high of over $100 per barrel in June 2014, to around $38 today.

The global supply glut has been exacerbated by Opec's refusal to cut production, in a bid to drive out the higher cost US shale gas producers.

And while there's now talk of output freeze deal led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, analysts have questioned its ability to support oil prices.

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