As India overtakes China as the most populous country in the world, oil and gas companies prepare to heavily invest in India’s unexploited hydrocarbon resources.
In 2022, China's population shrank for the first time since 1960. The country has 1.41 billion people, 850,000 fewer than in 2021. As a result of the population drop-off, the Chinese economy may struggle to surpass the U.S. in size and could lose its status as the world's most populated country to India this year.
The world is paying attention and looking at India as the next potential investment destination. As Will Ashby, EVP of Eastern Hemisphere at TGS, explains, "India will experience a significant increase in energy demand over the coming decades. TGS is pleased to be able to support the local energy industry to meet growing requirements by employing innovative processing techniques to maximize the potential of existing seismic data in the region." According to the United Nations population projection estimates, India could not only surpass China as the most populated country in the world, but its population will continue to grow until approximately 2060, when it will start declining. This growth will be associated with a greater demand for housing, goods, services, and, ultimately, energy.
India currently relies heavily on oil imports to supply its energy needs. It is the world's third-biggest oil-consuming and importing nation, and it needs to raise domestic oil output to reduce its reliance on costly international imports. 84% of Indian crude demand is imported, and over half of those volumes come from Middle Eastern countries. Continued reliance on imported fuels poses a high risk to future energy security.
Consequently, India's government is aiming to increase the geographical area under exploration and production for hydrocarbon projects. According to an article published by The Economic Times, speaking at the Voice of Global South Summit, Hardeep Singh Puri, India's Oil Minister, said: "We are expecting an investment of around USD 58 bn in exploration and production (of oil and gas) by 2023. Several multinational corporations like Chevron, ExxonMobil, Total Energies are showing keen interest to invest in Indian E&P sector." India, he assured, is ready to "explore opportunities for joint development and production of oil and gas assets for mutual benefit and invite investment in our domestic E&P sector."
TGS has undergone extensive seismic reprocessing projects offshore the East Coast of India to contribute to the country's initiative to develop untapped oil and gas resources. TGS' latest dataset provides seismic to enhance exploration potential across the prospective Krishna-Godavari Basin and West Bengal Fan. The data uplift will allow local and international companies to develop structural and geological models in their pre-study evaluation process using a single conformable 3D volume. This will increase confidence in license-round decision-making processes and support further exploration. As Will Ashby, EVP of Eastern Hemisphere at TGS, explains, "India will experience a significant increase in energy demand over the coming decades. TGS is pleased to be able to support the local energy industry to meet growing requirements by employing innovative processing techniques to maximize the potential of existing seismic data in the region."
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs