“As we transform towards a $5-trillion economy, energy availability and consumption will be of paramount importance,” the newspaper Business Standard quoted the new minister as saying.
“My focus will be on increasing domestic production of crude and natural gas. I will also work towards development of a natural gas-based economy in the country and increase the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix of the country to 15 per cent by 2030.”
India’s GDP stood at $2.6 trillion in 2020 and is to rise to $5.2 trillion by 2026 and $8.3 trillion by 2030, according to forecasts by IHS Markit. Data from BP put the share of gas in the country’s energy balance at 7 % last year, compared to 55% for coal, 28 % for oil and 10 % for various other energy sources.
The last edition of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook in October 2020 predicted that the share of gas in India’s energy balance would climb by 2030 to between 9 % (base scenario) and 12 % (sustainable development scenario).
Between 2015 and 2020, India nearly doubled its purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 14.6 million tonnes to 26.6 million tonnes, according to data from the International Association of LNG importers – consolidating its position as the world‘s fourth largest importer, after Japan, China and South Korea.
One of the driving principles behind this was the increase in production of electricity from gas (a 9% rise according to BP data). At the same time, India’s own production of gas over the same five years declined by 16 % to 23.8 billion cu. m.
New gas production projects could stem the fall. In April 2021, BP and India’s Reliance Industries began production at the second of three gas fields at block KG D6, about 60 km off India’s southern coast. And in February, state-operated ONGC began producing gas at the second cluster of KG-DWN/82 in The Bay of Bengal. That cluster contains not only gas (50.7 billion cu. m.), but also oil (23.5 million tonnes). Developing that project could therefore also stop the decline in the oil sector, where from 2025-2020 oil production sank by 10 %, according to BP, to 36.8 million tonnes.