Editorial: Is India's Energy Headache Music To Chinese Ears?
"In India, I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it, inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything, but possessed by nothing"
– Apollonius of Tyana, 1st Century AD
When the wandering philosopher Apollonius of Tyana made his way from Anatolia to India, the human population of Earth world would have been little more than 200 million people. Twenty centuries later, India by itself is six times more populous than Apollonius’s entire world. And it is growing. By 2050, the nation is set to pass the 1.8 billion mark with 54 per cent of people living in urban areas. How will the country handle this added strain on resources?
India is already the world's fourth-biggest crude importer - purchasing 3.5 million barrels per day – and is set to become the world’s third largest energy consumer behind China and the USA by the midpoint of this century. While neighbouring population billionaire China has cast its net wide to pursue energy assets "wherever and whenever they become available", India has been slow off the mark in this respect.
ONGC Videsh’s agreed purchase of ConocoPhillips’ $5 billion stake in the Kashagan Field will go some way to addressing the coming energy deficit, but pitted head-to-head against China’s financially independent national oil companies, Indian state entities might end up possessing little to nothing in the race to possess everything.
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