Fuel of future
With proven natural gas reserves of 208,000 billion cubic metres in 2011 and world production at less than 2% (3,276 bcm)—according to BP statistical review of world energy 2012—natural gas has tremendous growth potential. The acute awareness of climate change and carbon emission issues the world over makes gas one of the most environment friendly fossil fuels, which also offers scalability to meet growth needs.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is probably the fastest way to develop and monetise gas reserves. It is an excellent alternative, considering the geo-political issues facing transnational gas pipelines, challenges in domestic gas development in deep and ultra-deep waters (high cost, long lead time and technological uncertainties), extraneous influences on crude oil supply and prices, and environmental issues over coal.
India’s geographical location and a coastline which goes round from east to west gives it a unique advantage of not being too far from most LNG sources, whether in Asia, Middle East, Australia, or Africa. Clearly, LNG is becoming central to India’s energy basket, as we pursue energy security through diversity.
The share of natural gas in India’s energy basket currently at around 11% is expected to increase to 20% by 2025 (report by P&NG working group for Plan-XII). The share of LNG in natural gas, which was nil in 2003, is nearly 40% of total gas supplies to the Indian market today, with LNG coming from every major producing country in the world under a variety of
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