A study to facilitate the development of a national gas grid is to be undertaken soon by a U.S. entity for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).
Coming on the back of the push to promote use of natural gas, the study by ICF Resources LLC will take a look at various aspects — from demand analysis to a review of regulatory regimes.
The India National Gas Grid Technical Assistance programme stems from an agreement in September between PNGRB and the United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA). It will primarily update a 2011 study carried out by the same contractor (ICF Resources). USTDA and ICF Resources will fund the project cost of $1.219 million.
The study will aim at developing an economic basis for building India’s Natural Gas Grid (NGG), said a presentation by ICF Resources that PNGRB shared while inviting suggestions from stakeholders “to carry out the study in a practical and realistic scenario.”
Earlier this month, the regulator had organised an interactive discussion with upstream, midstream and downstream entities.
Gas supply analysis
Besides providing an update on the gas demand analysis, including anchor consumers, industries, city gas distribution (CGD) and emerging demand centres such as CNG and LNG for road transport, the study will take a fresh look at the gas supply analysis too. This includes review of LNG imports, domestic supply, potential transnational gas pipeline imports and virtual pipelines.
A detailed review of regulatory regimes governing the expansion of natural gas in the country, including regulations necessary to promote transparent price discovery through developing market hubs and regulations for promoting the construction of new pipeline and CGD facilities will be an another aspect of the study.
An update on the conceptual pipeline corridor network taking into account the locations of demand and supply, quantities needed at various locations, routing options, construction and operating costs, and financing models is also to be provided.
The natural gas pipeline network in India totalled 16,324 km as on April 2019, according to official figures. Nearly 7,000 km of pipeline is under construction. In addition, the CGD projects, to supply the environment-friendly and cost-effective fuel to commercial, industrial and residential users, will see several thousand more kms of steel pipeline getting added.
Share of natural gas in India’s energy basket is 6.2% as against 23.4% globally and is expected to increase.