How will Modi secure India's energy needs?

The new PM will pursue the "divide and conquer" strategy.

Narendra Modi

INDIA (CNN) - For incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, securing India's energy needs over the next decade ranks among his greatest challenges and one that will likely see him both compete and cooperate with China, the United States and Russia.

These three are the world's biggest energy consumers, with India in fourth spot. For all of them, energy security is a constant goal, driving their search for new resources, new technology and new investment opportunities around the globe.

The U.S. has its shale bonanza, while China has led the way with an aggressive array of international deals, covering everything from shale gas in North America, pipelines across Myanmar, stakes in Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and Caspian Sea oil and gas.

India has been able to secure coal assets in Australia, Indonesia and Africa, and some good oil and gas assets in the Middle East and the Americas. But Chinese companies such as China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) have had the muscle and the money to outbid Indian rival Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) for some of the most prospective oil and gas opportunities.

In energy infrastructure such as international pipelines, China is way ahead of India, with a network of lines from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Myanmar that delivers a steady supply of oil and gas.

How Modi handles India's energy situation and the relationships he forges with Russia, China and the U.S. may well define his administration.

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