Gas an Important Part of Indian Energy Mix: Minister
Natural gas has now become an important part of India’s energy mix and the country is moving towards having a gas-based economy, Indian petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said December 5 at an event in New Delhi.
“Twenty five-thirty years ago crude oil was the only priority of our exploration activities, but today the dynamics have changed. Gas has now become an important and essential part of our energy basket and is driving our energy transition,” he said.
India is transitioning towards becoming a gas-based economy, Pradhan continued.
“Domestic production of gas in India is set to grow. We are investing $60bn in gas-based infrastructure. The speed and scale at which city gas distribution ecosystem in the country has grown in recent times is remarkable,” he said.
India is promoting greater usage of natural gas to combat air pollution. The government wants to expand the share of gas in the energy mix from over 6% at present to 15% by 2030. Pradhan said that gas consumption has to rise to 600mn ft3/day to achieve a 15% share in energy basket from current levels of 166mn ft3/day. The minister said that about half of consumption is being met by imported LNG and the rest by locally produced gas.
Speaking about reforms in the energy sector, the minister said, “In the last five years, various reforms have been introduced to promote the growth of the gas sector in India, including, pricing and marketing freedom, diversification of fuel sourcing, etc.” He also said the government was taking steps to develop infrastructure for pipelines, city gas distribution and LNG terminals.
India LNG import capacity is being increased from 38.8mn mt/yr to 52.5mn mt/yr in next few years while an additional 14,700 km of gas pipeline is being laid to expand the existing network of 16,800 km, he said.