By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI:The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the 5th IEF-IGU Ministerial Forum in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Ministerial forum is being held as a parallel event to the 3-day Petrotech-2016.
Minister of Energy and Mines, Brazil, H.E. Fernando Bezerra FILHO, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Cyprus , Yiorgos LAKKOTRYPIS, Minister of Petroleum and Gas, Nigeria H.E. Dr. Emmanuel Ibe KACHIKWU, Minister of Energy and Industry, Qatar Mohammed bin Saleh AL-SADA, Deputy Minister for Gas Affairs of Ministry of Oil, Iraq Dr. Hamed Younis SALEH, Secretary General, OPEC Mohammed Sanusi BARKINDO, Secretary General, International Energy Forum, Dr. Sun XIANSHENG, President, International Gas Union, Mr. David CARROLL and Secretary General, International Gas Union Luis Bertran RAFECAS were present on the occasion.
Welcoming the participants, Pradhan said that the theme of this meet “Gas for Growth : Improving economic prosperity and living standards” could very well be the story of the initiatives taken in India towards this end. He said compared to international average, the share of gas in India’s primary energy basket is only at about 6.5% and we have set a target to raise the share of gas in primary energy from the current level to 15%.
This means annual gas consumption would accelerate from about 50 BCM to above 200 BCM in future. The Minister said that that a shift towards a gas based economy would require adequate availability of natural gas through domestic production as well as imports, adequate investments in pipeline, LNG import terminal and City Gas Distribution infrastructure and even financial support in the form of incentives.
Pradhan enlisted the initiatives taken by the Government in this regard- allowing 100% Foreign Direct Investment in many segments of the hydrocarbon sector, successful conclusion of Open bidding under a new ‘Marginal Fields Policy’ , introduction of new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy, giving top priority to allocation of domestically produced gas for City Gas Distribution, pooling of gas for fertilizer and power plants.
To meet the demands that an economy with 15% share of gas in the energy basket will entail, matching infrastructure will be needed and the Government is prepared for that. Calling for the support of the entire industry, the consumers and the people at large in meeting ambitious targets, Shri Pradhan said that it cannot be achieved by Governments alone.
Talking about the international collaboration in the area of natural gas, the Minister said the world needs even greater co-operation among countries on gas technologies, such as Shale and Gas Hydrates. Similarly, a number of large Asian LNG buyers, including India, could benefit by joining hands and thereby, possibly, bring in more equitable trade deals.
He also highlighted the global gas prices in the context of emerging LNG demand-supply interplay. LNG prices have been soft over the past 18-24 months, much in tandem with crude prices. LNG contracting mechanisms are changing with short term contracts growing and replacing long term contracts. He said many analysts believe that it will be a buyers’ market for a while and LNG buyers will continue to have options.
Technology for renewables has been developing rapidly in recent years leading to very competitive prices. He said that the essence of sustainable development lies in fulfilling the needs of the present without compromising the growth aspirations of our future generations. This way, a move towards a natural gas-fuelled economy will help us achieve the twin objectives of economic growth and sustainable development.