At a time when India is witnessing a ‘gas war’ between the Ambani brothers, a leading expert on Monday had some good news on the energy front predicting that natural gas prices will remain depressed the world over due to fall in demand and absence of a ‘cartel’ in the gas trading.

“India and China are the growing economies at present and their growth will be relatively high leading to high energy demand. In order to be competitive, India and China will need to improve energy efficiency and put an end to subsidies with a switch to free pricing.

“China has been more radical than India in cutting subsidies,” British Petroleum Chief Economist Christof Ruhl said during an interaction with journalists while launching the “2009 BP statistical review of world energy” here.

He said the gas prices had come down from a peak of $20 mmBtu to around $3-4 mmBtu which indicated the slowdown in demand due to sluggish growth of global economies. It was also an indication of the fact that there were no cartels in gas markets across the globe, he added.

NELP-VIII

Stating that the prospects of oil and gas exploration and production were “good”, Mr. Rulh said the country should evolve a more transparent and competitive framework. “Some progress has been made in this direction and hopefully with the New Licensing Exploration Policy (NELP) VIII we will some more progress,” he added.

According to the energy review, for 2008, world economic growth was 2 per cent below the ten-year average for the first time since 2003.

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