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India turns hot for gas suppliers

india Updated: Nov 03, 2011 22:31 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
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With the slowing of the European economy and India’s growing appetite for gas, leading global gas players are seen turning towards India as a leading hot destination for gas supplies as against their earlier focus on the Western markets.



That Asia is emerging as a big market for leading gas suppliers with India and China in the forefront was echoed many times by the International Energy Agency (IEA) — an organisation that otherwise has OECD countries as its members — at the ongoing Singapore International Energy Week.



Even though India and China are not members of the IEA, top executives from this global energy advisory body could not stop talking about the Indian and China as two big emerging markets for energy.



Whether it was Royal Dutch Shell, the leading player in the world’s gas market, or other big traders of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the Middle East, it was unanimously pointed out that India offers a huge opportunity for big LNG portfolio players. Russia’s leading gas supplier Gazprom and UK’s British Gas are also targeting huge supplies to markets like India.



India’s rapidly growing market for natural gas for vehicles as also power generation will lead its gas demand in the years to come. While there are currently a million plus gas-powered vehicles in India, the country is expected to see this number climb to over 3 lakh cars in about three years’ time.



Gazprom and BG have recently signed deals with Indian companies including the state-owned gas company GAIL, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, Petronet LNG and Indian Oil Corporation — to supply a total of over 15 million tones per year of LNG from their portfolio.



India’s domestic natural gas production is about 120 units -against a demand of around 189 units. The country is importing 46.3 units of LNG.