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Thursday, September 24, 1998 Published at 22:51 GMT 23:51 UK

World: South Asia

India becoming too dependent on oil imports

An international conference on India's oil and gas reserves has heard that the country will soon be one of the world's largest importers of crude oil, unless it acquires the technology to exploit its own vast natural resources.

A government spokesman told the conference that India could in theory be self-sufficient in oil and gas, but lacks the revenue to develop its own fields.

He said the government would respond to this problem by offering a variety of financial incentives to encourage overseas investment. However, a BBC South Asia correspondent says the country has difficulty encouraging large-scale foreign investment because of its inadequate infrastructure.

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