US Secretary of Energy Visits India to Expand Collaboration

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by Karin Silitonga
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and India’s Atomic Energy Secretary Dr. Sekhar Basu signs the agreement to promote US-India collaboration on science and technology-focused projects. [Image: Department of Energy]

On April 13, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry traveled to India to bolster the existing energy cooperation between the United States and India. During his visit, Secretary Perry attended meetings with various government officials and industry representatives to strengthen the growing bilateral ties. Secretary Perry concluded his trip with the first inaugural session of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership, which also featured Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Efforts to deepen the Strategic Energy Partnership were announced by US President Donald Trump when he hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2017. Prior to the trip, Secretary Perry had met with a delegation of high-level executives led by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum in Washington, DC last February to discuss key energy investment projects.

Further collaborative work is also underway as Secretary Perry and India’s Atomic Energy Secretary Dr. Sekhar Basu signed an agreement for collaboration on scientific projects, particularly on neutrino science projects that both countries have begun working on. The agreement will expand opportunities for joint ventures between the US Department of State’s Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility and India’s Neutrino Observatory. This builds on the two countries’ existing partnership formed in 2013 on particle accelerator technologies. The partnership had previously enabled Indian and American scientists to cooperate on the upgrade of a particle accelerator complex, making India the first international partner to have made significant contributions to a particle accelerator built in the United States.

These developments highlight the commitment of both countries to enhance trade and investment in the energy sector. This year, India received their first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the United States following a long-term supply deal with US energy firm Cheniere Energy. Furthermore, Texas governor Greg Abbott also discussed opportunities for energy trade during his visit to India in March. Considering the total value of bilateral trade between the United States and India reaching $109 billion in 2015, and the United States being India’s 2nd largest trading partner, these advancements further affirm the deep relations that the two countries share.

Karunia "Karin" Silitonga is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a recent graduate of Baylor University.