Natural gas supply growing much faster than demand
The shortfall of natural gas in the country is set to widen over the next couple of years and then stabilise by 2017-18, according to data presented by the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan to Parliament during the ongoing session.
According to the Minister, India’s natural gas production would touch 46.3 billion cubic metres (BCM) in 2017-18, up from the 33.6 BCM achieved in 2014-15. However, the improvement over this year is to be minimal, with the Ministry projecting only 33.86 BCM to be produced in 2015-16, a 0.6 per cent improvement over the previous year.
The data presented in Parliament shows that the supply of natural gas in India was projected to grow far faster than demand, although the shortfall would still remain significant for some time to come.
The supply data shows that natural gas production in the country was to grow 37.5 per cent by 2017-18 over the levels achieved in 2014-15. The demand data, presented in a separate answer, shows a growth of a much slower 22 per cent in that period.
If these numbers are achieved, then this means the shortfall of natural gas in the country was set to first widen and then stabilise. While the shortfall was 112 BCM in 2012-13, it was projected to grow to 131 BCM in 2016-17 but then remain at that level the next year.
However, if supply and demand both maintains their current annual growth rates, it would take till 2062 for India to become self-sufficient in natural gas.
The Minister informed Parliament of several initiatives the government was taking to increase the production of natural gas in the country, including enhancing production in existing fields by using the latest technology and bringing into production new discoveries as soon as possible.
An answer tabled in the Lok Sabha on August 3 showed that there was extensive shale gas in the country. One study, according to the answer, pegged India’s shale gas reserves as between 8,500-60,000 BCM.