A deterrent for India to successfully shift natural gas/ Liquefied Natural Gas, as a favoured fuel, has been lack of a strategy to achieve the target. To ensure the gas networks are not under-utilised, and demand and supply is in sync, the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), has constituted a committee to examine various aspects of value chain including pricing.

Gas demand is directly linked to supply.

A senior official in the PNGRB told businessline, that “a need has been felt, to have a proper strategy for the growth of the gas sector as well as to ensure that the infrastructure created is not under-utilised.”

The seven member committee, headed by Former Chairperson of PNGRB, D K Sarraf, was constituted earlier this month. The government has the target to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket from the present 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030. PNGRB has been mandated to develop infrastructure for transportation of natural gas to consumers across the country. “It requires a structured approach, and cannot be looked at in silos,” a committee member said.

When asked wasn’t it late in the day to look for a structured approach, the PNGRB official said, “It is good to have a vision statement. The committee so constituted, will come out with a report on Vision 2040 – Natural Gas Infrastructure in India, looking at the demand and supply in the medium term (2040), and natural gas infrastructure in India.”

The committee will submit its report within three months, from the date of its first meeting.

The terms of reference include: to examine various aspects of the entire gas value chain, like gas/LNG prices, regasification charges, transportation charges, taxes, competition from alternate fuels, advancement of technologies and other aspects.

It will also look at likely availability of gas from domestic sources, vis imported gas. On the infrastructure front, it has been asked to look at required re-gasification capacity, pipeline infrastructure, and its capacity to support higher consumption of natural gas and connectivity to demand centres.

“We have to ensure that the infrastructure, so created, does not lie idle, or run under capacity. More importantly, we have to see the demand for such infrastructure, in the areas where it is being created,” the official said.

This exercise becomes more important, as, the government is pushing for the sector. Also, as the PNGRB goes about inviting bids for creating City Gas Distribution networks and other gas networks, it is pertinent to know what is the demand, and how the supply will be managed, an official stressed.