Indigenous natural gas production caters to about 51% of the country’s requirements, while around 85% of the country’s crude oil is imported.
As part of the first phase of infrastructure roll-out, Torrent Gas is expecting to commission over 30 CNG stations in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts in the last quarter of the current financial year.
Domestic natural gas production fell 8.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 2,414 million metric standard cubic metre (mmscm) in October. The 2.6 million tonne (MT) of crude oil produced in the country during the month was also 6.3% lower than the production in the year-ago period. Indigenous natural gas production caters to about 51% of the country’s requirements, while around 85% of the country’s crude oil is imported.
Domestic natural gas production fell 12.9% y-o-y to 13,939 mmscm in the first half of the fiscal, as operations became increasingly unviable for energy production companies with government lowering selling prices. As noted earlier by Care Ratings, the gross production of domestic natural gas will fall 10.6% during FY21 as “no company would aggressively want to increase production or get into high-risk projects with such a low gas price”. The current price for gas produced from local fields has been revised to an all-time low of $1.79/mmBtu by the government, which is much below the breakeven point for most fields, the agency noted.
Demand for the natural gas in the domestic market is largely dependent on the fertiliser (28%), power (23%), city gas distribution entities (16%), refineries (12%) and petrochemicals (8%) industries. The country aims to increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current level of about 6%. Domestic natural gas output fell 2.8% y-o-y to 31,168.4 mmscm in FY20, reversing the growth trend recorded since FY18.
Domestic production has been falling with the ageing of existing fields and muted response from the industry to take up new projects, mainly due to lack of adequate incentives. Other reasons for lower output in FY20, as admitted by the government to a parliamentary committee, include lack of buyers, inadequate evacuation infrastructure and other technical constraints in hostile geographical terrains.