Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Indian PM inaugurates $722 million gas pipeline

PM addressing the Summit (Pic: The Hindu)
NEW DELHI (AA) - At the 8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit on Tuesday in New Delhi, the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated a $722 million, 1000 km-long gas pipeline that connects Dabhol in the Western state of Mahrashtra to capital city Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka.
Delivering the opening address at the Summit, Dr Manmohan Singh said that natural gas is the fuel of choice today because of efficiency, reduction in air-pollution and improved quality of life. He stated that the Summit is of great importance given the huge demand for natural gas in Asia. 
“Over the years, natural gas has become increasingly important as a source of energy in our country, with the rate of growth in natural gas consumption being the highest among all commercial energy sources,” he said.
The gas pipeline project was developed by state-run Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) which took 19 months to complete.
According to a statement released by India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the gas pipeline will pass through 382 National Highways, 20 railway crossings, 276 water body crossings including Asia's largest river crossing in rocky terrain at Ghatprabha in the southern state of Karnataka.
Dr Singh said that India is the world’s seventh largest energy producer and fourth largest energy consumer after US, China and Japan.
“India needs to increase its energy supply by 3 to 4 times its current amount within the next two decades,” Singh said.
“With oil and gas constituting around 41 percent of India’s primary energy consumption, India is expected to be the 3rd largest energy consumer by the year 2020,” he said.
Singh said that to bridge this gap between supply and demand, India is encouraging domestic and global companies to explore the onshore and offshore regions.
“I take this opportunity to assure investors of our Government’s commitment to providing a stable and enabling policy for the exploration of new sources of energy,” he said.
Singh cited the example of US shale gas revolution and how it has opened up technological and economic possibilities.
“The Shale gas revolution has been made possible primarily by two factors – technology and market-based pricing. This is a combination that is essential to provide rapidly growing economies like ours with energy solutions commensurate with our needs,” he said.
Singh hoped that India will be “fortunate” in discovering Shale gas reserves in the country.
“I am sure the summit will help in finding creative solutions leading to stronger partnerships between buyers in Asia and international sellers,” he said.
Singh also acknowledged India is not able to secure adequate volumes of natural gas “owing to differences in price expectations between buyers and sellers.”

“There are exciting opportunities in India for partnerships for joint investments in areas like gas pipeline development, LNG terminals, Petrochemicals, gas trading hubs and city gas distribution,” he said.

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