India’s transition to green energy will be through a natural gas economy, claim OMCs

The transition to 100% cleaner fuels and green energy will be through natural gas, according to the three CMDs of India’s oil marketing companies (OMCs). They are gearing up for a 25% share of natural gas in India’s energy mix by 2030, an ambitious target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To achieve it, India will have to quadruple the share of gas in its energy mix from the current 6%. Over half of the country’s gas requirements are imported as LNG, and OMCs are in the process of setting up the infrastructure for the same. 

Petronet LNG Ltd. (PLL) — promoted by Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Natural Gas Company, ONGC and GAIL — has contracts with Qatar’s RasGas for the supply of 7.5 MTPA of LNG over a period of 25 years to its Dahej terminal, and with ExxonMobil Australia for the supply of around 1.44 MTPA LNG over 20 years for its Kochi terminal. PLL has signed long-term sale purchase agreements with both.

BPCL has a 10% stake in a gas field being developed by partners, led by French petroleum major Total, which is expected to produce 12.9 MMT of LNG a year beginning 2024. Bharat Petro Resources (BPRL), a wholly- owned subsidiary of BPCL, has participating interest in 17 upstream exploration blocks — seven in India, six in Brazil and one each in Mozambique, Indonesia, Australia and East Timor — besides Russian assets.

IOC, along with a JV partner, has developed a 5-MTPA LNG terminal at Kamarajar Port at Ennore in Tamil Naidu for ₹150 crore. The company is also adding to its pipeline networks [from 15,000 kilometres to 21,000 kilometres]. IOC currently has 9 MTPA of gas-handling capacity under development and is planning to augment its city gas distribution network (it already has 40 geographical areas).

HPCL, on the other hand, has 20 Geographical Areas agreements in nine states for city gas distribution, and is setting up 5 MTPA of LNG capacity, further expandable to 10 MTPA in future, at Chhara port in Gujarat. It is likely to be completed by 2022-end. The company is also expanding its pipeline network from 3,700 km to 5,500 km, says Surana. HPCL has 800 pumps to dispense natural gas, and plans are to increase it to 5,000. It is also looking at dispensing LNG directly as a transport fuel and is setting up 11 stations on an experimental basis.

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