India is encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas through stable and enabling policies towards achieving its goal of self-sufficiency in hydrocarbons by 2030, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday. Manmohan Singh said in a speech during 11th International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition "Petrotech-2014" at the India Exposition Mart here, organized by state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. "We are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore potentially hydrocarbon-rich areas in the framework of a stable and enabling policy environment," Manmohan Singh said. "We have made a number of changes in our energy policy regime in the past few months and I am sure you would be aware of them," he added. The government will offer at least 56 oil and gas blocks in the 10th round of bidding under its New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). This is the largest offering of blocks since the start of NELP in 1999 in an effort to attract more investments into the exploration and production sector, according to Times of India. Partnerships among various stakeholders were essential for meeting the emerging challenges of the oil and gas sector, he said. "Such partnerships could result in outcomes like improved recovery from mature fields, exploitation of ultra-deep water energy reserves and progress in complex frontier areas. They could also help in exploitation of unconventional forms of energy, apart from addressing concerns about environmental degradation and climate change," the prime minister said. Manmohan Singh said as a responsible member of the global community, India is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. "The challenge of achieving high economic growth and yet reducing emissions is a formidable one indeed, but we are determined to meet this challenge fully," he said. "This entails work in several areas like demand management, energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. It also requires focused research and development initiatives," he added.