India to invest $20 billion in gas fields in next 5-7 years: DharmendraPradhan

India to invest $20 billion in gas fields in next 5-7 years: DharmendraPradhan

India will see an investment of about $20 billion in gas field development in the next 5-7 years and is looking to boost usage of the green fuel and double consumption, Oil Minister DharmendraPradhan said today. The investment will be primarily in developing natural gas discoveries by state-owned ONGC and Reliance Industries-BP joint venture off the east coast, the minister said at CII’s ‘Global Energy Dialogue’ event here.

“We are now expediting production of gas from domestic sources to the extent of 20 trillion cubic feet from already discovered sources through policy, fiscal and regulatory mechanism. These fields and the current auctions of Discovered Small Fields are going to add to the domestic supplies in the next 3-4 years,” he said.

ONGC is lining up USD 5.07 billion to produce over 16 million standard cubic metres per day of natural gas from a set of discoveries in its Krishna Godavari basin KG-DWN-98/2 block.RIL-BP has several discoveries in the adjacent KG-DWN- 98/3 or KG-D6 block and NEC-25 off the Odisha coast.

“About $20 billion will be invested in next 5-7 years primarily in deepwater fields to augment gas production,” he said.Natural gas makes up for 6 per cent of the primary energy basket in India as against a global average of more than 24 per cent.

“We are determined to increase the gas offtake significantly as it would serve several objectives. By switching to this cleaner fuel and diversifying our energy mix, we can augment our fight towards climate justice,” he said.

“Second, we can substitute liquid fuels with natural gas in several applications; this will help us in our objective of reducing our import dependency for crude oil by 10 per cent from the current levels by 2022.”

For this, availability of natural gas is being increased by boosting domestic gas output, importing LNG and through trans-national gas pipelines. Also, gas infrastructure, including pipeline, city gas network and LNG import infrastructure is being improved.

“We are realigning the infrastructure planning, given the role LNG is going to play in our supply mix. The northern and western regions in India consume around 80 per cent of the overall volume of gas utilised in the country. We are working to change it and make eastern and southern India as new growth centre,” he said.

An additional 34 million tonnes per annum of LNG import terminal capacity are being added while pipeline network will be doubled to about 30,000 km in the next five years.Also, India is pursuing trans-national pipeline projects like Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Also a 1,300-km undersea gas pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran to India is being studied, he said.

“Currently, India consumes around 120 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas, of which 60 per cent is consumed by power and fertiliser sectors. With all our policy initiatives, planned infrastructure investments and global fall in gas prices, we expect the gas consumption to double in India in the next 5 years to 240 mmscmd,” Pradhan said.

The government, he said, is looking at providing piped natural gas in households in all large cities of the country.”The government plans to connect 10 million households to PNG (piped natural gas) network in the next three years. 35 new cities have been approved for city gas distributors (CGD) in the last two years,” he said. Stating that India faces dual challenge of greenhouse gases and local pollution, he said use of natural gas will help mitigate both of them.

“India has committed to improve its carbon footprint and while improving standards of living by providing universal access to energy,” the minister said, adding that emission intensity will be reduced by 33-35 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.Also, 175 gigawatt of renewable energy will be added by 2022.

Creation of five million hectares of forest and improving quality of a similar area will help absorb 2.5-3 gigatonnes of carbon from atmosphere, he said.

“The government is determined to increase use of CNG and introduce use of LNG in the transport sector,” he said. “It would not be far stretched to imagine that in future 25 per cent of India’s transport fuel requirements can be met from CNG and LNG sources.”

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