India's natural gas demand is expected to nearly double to 320 million standard cubic meters per day by 2015, global consultancy firm McKinsey said in a study on Monday.
In a report released at the VI Asia Gas Partnership Summit, Mckinsey said the current demand of 166 mmscmd -- made up of nearly 132 mmscmd supplies from domestic fields and the rest from imported LNG -- is likely to rise to at least a minimum of 230 mmscmd and a maximum of 320 mmscmd by 2015.
There was an upside of 280 mmscmd if gas was made available at a delivered price of USD 10 to 11 per million British thermal unit.
"At these levels, the use of natural gas becomes economical, despite switching costs and additional investment required. This demand would be driven by the refining and petrochemical industry (35 mmscmd), the power sector (5 mmscmd) and city gas distribution (about 10-12 mmscmd)," the report said.
There was a total potential of 310-320 mmscmd if gas is used to ease peaking power deficits in India, McKinsey said.
"India's peak power shortages are projected to worsen from a 17 per cent peak deficit in 2009 (shortfall of 23 gigawatts of peak supply) to close to a 25 per cent peak deficit by 2015 and a resultant shortfall of more than 60 GW of peak supply," it said.
Even if hydro power was tapped to its full potential, it would still leave a peak shortfall of around 32 GW to 40 GW by 2015.
"Even if half the peak shortfall were met, a gas demand of 30 mmscmd to 40 mmscmd will arise."
"To manage this impending growth, India's natural gas industry will require investments of around USD 40 billion to USD 50 billion across the value chain.
"With these investments and demand growth, the industry revenue pool could double to USD 50 billion by 2015 from USD 25 billion today. The industry's gross profit pool would be around USD 30 billion, almost double of today's level," it said.