Oil sector: How can we fix the mess?

27 Sep 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Economic Times

We raise an alarm every time oil prices go up. There is the usual flurry of debates and expression of concerns as long as the crisis lasts. The moment prices go down the wolf is seen to go away, even though he is lurking very much in the shadows, and in fact getting more dangerous even as our consumption of oil keeps ratcheting higher and higher. The truth is that as long as our dependence on oil keeps growing so also would our vulnerability to sudden increases in global prices.

Oil price hike: need for long-term energy strategy

17 Sep 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(18)

For the fourth time since the early 1970s, oil prices have shot up and touched a level of 37 dollars a barrel. On this occasion, however, the increase has not been brought about by any specific political upheaval, such as the Arab-Israel War in 1973, the Iranian Revolution in early 1979, and the Gulf War in 1990. In fact, there have been signs of an impending hike in oil prices for at least the past 18 months, and an increase to levels above 30 dollars a barrel seemed likely. However, even the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been taken by surprise by the magnitude and dimensions of the increase. The main factor behind the current hike is the surge in demand that has taken place during this summer. Refineries, particularly those in North America, have been working at full capacity to satisfy the increasing demand. But they neglected production of heating oil and concentrated on producing gasoline and diesel oil, leading to very low stocks of heating oil.

Disinvesting in oil PSUs

06 Sep 2000 |
Mr Ardhendu Sen
| The Economic Times

The government has decided that the petroleum sector is not 'strategic'. It will therefore be possible to reduce government shareholding in the oil and gas PSUs (public sector undertakings) to below 50 per cent. However, there would be no standard formula to be applied to all the PSUs; each case would be decided on merit and it may well be that more than 50 per cent share is retained in one or more of the important companies.

Independent regulation and competition law

02 Sep 2000 |
Mr S Sundar
| The Economic Times

That market forces and competition can improve efficiencies in the delivery of infrastructure services without affecting economies of scale, and till such competition arrives, monopoly service providers should be regulated, have now been recognised.

Poverty alleviation: are we doing enough?

02 Sep 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(17)

The period 6-9 September saw a major event taking place in New York with the Millennium Summit hosted by the UN Secretary General. Around 160 world leaders met to discuss challenges faced by the human race in the new millennium. The focus of the summit was on poverty and development, but through the multitude of powerful voices heard on the occasion there was hardly any consensus that emerged on any of the major issues that were covered. Goals that were discussed included halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, advancing basic education to all children, and bridging the digital divide.

Living with floods

28 Aug 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Hindustan Times

Floods are not new to India and this sub-continent, but in recent years the problem has received much greater attention perhaps largely because it has led to much greater damage than in the past.

A house for all seasons

24 Aug 2000 |
Ms Mili Majumdar
Ms Anuradha Vashisht
| The Indian Express

From the Indraprastha of Pandavas to the Lutyen's Delhi, this legendary city has undergone many a birth pangs. But none so painful as the one in its modern avatar. Delhi in the 21st century is becoming an eyesore.

Not a pipedream: back to Iran gas pipeline option

18 Aug 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| The Times of India

OPEC is in the news again as the world holds its breath wondering whether output will be increased and oil prices decline from the current level of around $30 per barrel. Meanwhile, the oil import bill in India as in other major oil-importing countries, is straining the economy, with global oil prices having almost trebled in the past two years.

University system in the US: fostering technological development and decision-making

17 Aug 2000 |
Dr R K Pachauri
| TERI Newswire VI(16)

This is the Labor Day weekend in the US, and everyone is on the highways here getting away for what is generally regarded as the last weekend of the summer. The travel-intensive population of the US is on the move to the beaches and other holiday spots by the millions. The drive up the East Coast to New Haven, Connecticut was slow and arduous, taking over 7 hours from Wilmington, Delaware. But, mercifully there was no mishap in my journey even though the highways had many speed fiends who zoomed along at 80 mph, changing lanes dangerously.

An integrated energy policy

16 Aug 2000 |
| The Economic Times

Inaugurating the Retreat, a training-cum-conference centre designed by TERI to run exclusively on renewable energy, the prime minister gave a timely call for an integrated energy policy. The matter is complex and an initiative only at the PM's level has some chance of success.