India to double its gas pipeline network to 30,000 km in 3-4 yrs: Pradhan
The Dollar Business Bureau
India plans to double its natural gas pipeline network to around 30,000 km in the coming 3-4 years as part of the strategy to move to a gas-based economy in order to reduce greenhouse emissions and the dependence on imports for oil, said Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Also, the country plans to bring in more reforms in the sector and will create a gas trading hub to support better prices for both domestic and imported fuel, said Pradhan.
“We are completing a 30,000 km national gas grid in coming years. We can proudly claim that we have not only brought in policy reforms, but also implemented them,” he said while speaking at a session at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress held in Istanbul, Turkey.
“We are also in the process of reforming the gas market in India where you can sell your gas through a gas trading hub,” he added.
Presently, natural gas in the country is sold on the basis of a formula which is mandated by the government that links the domestic price to the rates prevalent in gas-surplus countries.
In comparison, most of the long-term contracts for importing natural gas are indexed or linked to oil.
Pradhan said that India has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment. The country received a record foreign direct investment (FDI) of $60 billion in fiscal of 2016-17.
The Minister invited global firms to come to India and invest in the oil and gas sector, and said that the sector has been open to the investors with the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), which allows them to select from the 2.8 million square km for exploration.
World’s major energy consumption rose by only 1% in 2016 whereas the growth of the same was 5.4% in India.
“As India grows and aspires to become a world leader, you must all take note that it represents a robust consumption and a market for ready market access,” he said.
Based on projections, India is poised to make up for a fourth of the overall demand for incremental world energy during 2013 and 2040.
Pradhan further said that India is the world’s third biggest oil consumer and imports around 80% of its requirements, and added that the government plans to reduce down its dependence on imports by 10% by 2022.
“With the world eyeing India's growth closely, I encourage you all to take the first mover advantage, and join hands with us to become partners in the next round of global growth,” he said.
Pradhan also meet Turkey’s Minister for Energy and Natural Resource, Berat Albayrak, at the Congress.