On Wednesday, March 2, it was announced that the rector of the St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko, and Deputy Director General of the Indian Hydrocarbon Resources Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas, Mr. Anand Gupta; signed an agreement of mutual understanding and cooperation. In particular, the parties declared their intention to "unite the potential for technology production and personnel training.
Gupta noted that the South Asia republic is the world's sixth largest economy and third largest consumer of primary energy, after the United States and China. Given that the country's GDP growth rate is projected to be about 9% per year, the demand for fossil fuels in India will be increasing for at least the next three decades. Of course, there will be an important increase in the demand of natural gas, which will increase from the current 64 billion cubic meters (data from 2019) to around 332 cubic meters.
India's excessive dependence on imported raw materials, primarily oil, may become a serious obstacle to its progressive development. Nowadays, the country produces only 15% of its domestic market demand (5.1 million barrels per day) on its own. This means that one of the priorities for New Delhi in the coming years should be a sharp increase in the scale and quality of its exploration work.
"The St. Petersburg Mining University is world-renowned not only as an educational institution that trains qualified managers for the oil and gas sector, but also as an advisory center capable of increasing the level of seismic and geological exploration for oil and gas in Indian sedimentary basins," Anand Gupta emphasized.
Vladimir Litvinenko told the guests about the contribution of the St. Petersburg Mining University and its scientists to geophysical surveys, which take place not only in Russia, but also on other continents, even in Antarctica. Every year specialists from Mining University depart to the Vostok research station, where they perform drilling operations in the ice at a depth of over 3.5 kilometers. One of the tasks is to select cores, formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, for their further study in laboratories. This allows us to understand what volumes of CO2 were contained in the atmosphere in that era, what events contributed to this and what consequences they produced.
"Russia and India have close historical ties. And our countries undoubtedly have the potential to strengthen these ties on a mutually beneficial basis. I am talking, of course, not only about cooperation in hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration, but also in such an important segment today as reducing the carbon footprint. I invite your representatives to join the work we are doing at the Vostok Research Station. Our immediate plans are to study geothermal heat flows beneath the ice sheet of East and Central Antarctica and their impact on the Earth's carbon cycle and the global climate. I assure you that participation in the Russian Antarctic Expedition will be a huge event for Indian scientists, comparable even with a flight into space", - said the Rector of the Mining University.
He also drew attention to the future of coal, which many have rushed to call "the fuel of the Past". Research scientists of the university, performed, including in co-authorship with foreign partners from Germany and other countries, clearly indicate that at the expense of technology of deep processing and gasification of this resource, it is possible to obtain profitable and marketable products. Another promising direction is nitrogen fertilizers, which are extremely demanded by the agricultural sector, especially given the increase in the world population.
It should be noted that the tentative path map for the implementation of joint projects has 14 different ideas. Among them are the development of a unified system of evaluation of competencies of oil and gas industry specialists; projects related to improving the efficiency of hydrocarbon use; development of academic mobility; and the publication of joint scientific articles, among others.