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Under Secretary Albright in India Highlights U.S.-India Energy Cooperation

April 4, 2008 - 2:47pm

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Signs Historic Agreement to Promote Gas Hydrates as a Clean Alternative Energy Source

NEW DELHI, INDIA - U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Clarence "Bud" Albright, Jr. today co-chaired the fourth meeting of the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue with Indian Foreign Minister Shivshankar Menon in New Delhi, India.  The meeting concludes a week of bilateral U.S.-India energy discussions aimed at strengthening and expanding ongoing collaboration in research and development of gas hydrates and other clean energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting policies to ensure affordable and reliable supplies of energy.

"As two of the world's largest energy users and world economies, the U.S. and India play a pivotal role in advancing global energy security," said Under Secretary Albright.  "In meetings here in New Delhi, we discussed the importance of working together to expand the production of renewable and alternative fuels and other energy options, encourage open and competitive markets, and dramatically increase energy efficiency."

Under Secretary Albright and India's Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas, M.S. Srinivasan, also today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Cooperation in Gas Hydrates to guide future efforts in expanding the use of gas hydrates as a clean, abundant natural energy resource.  The MOU provides a framework for the nations to exchange information and analyses, conduct joint studies and projects, exchange scientific and technical personnel, and facilitate the establishment of a Gas Hydrate Technology Center in India in order to increase understanding of the geologic occurrence of, and the potential for methane production from, natural gas hydrates in both India and the United States.

While in India, Under Secretary Albright touted the importance of an agreement between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and India to promote the adoption of advanced inspection and maintenance technologies for refinery safety and environmental performance.

Yesterday, Under Secretary Albright delivered remarks to the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), one of India's premier business associations, where he discussed the importance of expanding the commercial competitiveness and availability of renewable energy and alternative fuels, and the role of advanced technologies, including carbon capture and sequestration, in producing energy in a clean and efficient manner.

Over the course of the week, Under Secretary Albright held bilateral energy discussions with a number of senior Indian officials, including India's Secretary of Coal, Harish Chandra Gupta; India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Murli Deora; India's Minister of Power, Sushilkumar Shinde; and India's Secretary of New and Renewable Energy V. Subramanian.  In these meetings, Under Secretary Albright highlighted India's important role in the global energy market and discussed the importance of increasing the use of clean energy options like renewable energy, clean coal and biofuels and dramatically increasing energy efficiency through advanced technology.  He also met with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in New Dehli to discuss private sector investment opportunities in cutting-edge energy technologies.

The U.S.-India Energy Dialogue was launched in May, 2005 by Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia to increase energy cooperation between the nations.  The Dialogue fulfills a commitment made during a September 2004 meeting between President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector by working with the public and private sectors to further identify areas of cooperation and collaboration.

Media contact(s):

Bethany Shively, (202) 586-4940

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