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'Natural gas consumption in India must treble to achieve 15% target'

Pradhan said that the natural gas consumption of India will have to increase over three-fold in the next 10 years for the fuel’s share to increase to 15%
New Delhi: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday that the natural gas consumption of India will have to increase over three-fold in the next 10 years for the fuel’s share to increase to 15 percent in the country’s energy basket. He added that the government has planned to spend $60 billion to meet gas infrastructure to meet such a demand. Currently, the share of natural gas in India’s energy mix is 6.2 percent. Signalling its readiness to switch to green sources of energy, the government is targeting to push natural gas share to 15 percent.

‘Natural gas consumption in India has to rise to 600 MMSCMD’

“Gas consumption has to rise to 600 million standard cubic metres per day for achieving 15 percent share in energy basket” from current levels of 166 MMSCMD, Pradhan said at a FICCI conference on gas infrastructure. At least 80-90 MMSCMD of India’s demand is met through domestic output, the rest of it is imported, Pradhan said. Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan said, “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.”

India’s energy transition

Talking about India’s transition towards a gas-based economy, Pradhan said, “We are moving towards a gas based economy. Domestic production of gas in India is set to grow. We are investing $60 billion in gas based infrastructure. The speed and scale at which City Gas Distribution ecosystem in the country has grown in recent times is remarkable.” Speaking about reforms in the energy sector, Pradhan 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 that the government is taking steps to develop infrastructure for pipe lines, city gas distribution and LNG terminals.

‘Shift has happened in the market’

Speaking about market scenario, Pradhan said, “Shift has happened in the market and focus has shifted from producer to consumer. We are working with the industry closely to create value for consumers. We must intensify our efforts to reach out to our people in the industrial clusters and give them a comparative analysis of the benefits of gas over conventional fuel, this will further improve people’s awareness about gas and promote usage of gas, especially by our industries.”