India’s natural gas output to be 60 percent up by 2025: ICRA

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The demand for natural gas in India will increase to 330 million standard cubic meters per day by 2024-25, while domestic production will rise by 60 percent to around 150 mscmd, research and ratings agency ICRA said on Friday.

The increase in supply will come from the likely commencement of Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s Deen Dayal block and state-run ONGC’s KG basin blocks along with marginal increase in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ KG basin production and other sources, ICRA said in its latest report on Indian gas utilities.

“Despite high domestic demand-supply deficit, the demand for regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) in the country is critically dependent upon the prices of liquid fuels and global spot LNG prices,” it said.

“The prices of long-term RasGas LNG are expected to be at materially higher level than liquid fuel prices and spot LNG prices till FY17, thereby leading to significant pressure on demand and marketing margins of RasGas RLNG in view of lower prices of liquid fuels and spot LNG,” the report said.

The marketers are expected to partially mitigate the risk by taking recourse to offtake flexibility available under the GSPA and by marketing a higher share of spot LNG, it added.

Due to competition from liquid fuels and coal, the actual consumption of RLNG could be lower than demand potential resulting in significant competitive pressures among LNG terminals, said ICRA senior vice-president K.Ravichandran.

“Even though the government of India has ambitious plans to double the pipeline capacity to 30,000 km, the constrained gas availability may be a key hurdle for new pipeline projects, which require large investments,” he said.

Meanwhile a petroleum ministry source here told IANS on Friday that a decision is expected soon on the premium to be paid on natural gas for all new discoveries in ultra-deep-water and deep-water areas as well as in high pressure-high-temperature areas.

In October 2014, the government announced an upward revision to $5.61 per unit against the industry’s demand for at least doubling it to a little over $8 per unit, as per the Rangarajan Committee recommendations.

As per the mechanism approved in October 2014, the new price of $5.61 per unit applied for normal categories of gas.

But for all new discoveries in ultra-deep-water areas, deep-water areas and the high pressure-high-temperature areas, it said that a premium will be given but did not spell out further details on how it will be calculated.

While shallow-water blocks are at a depth of up to 100-500 metres, deep-water blocks descend to around 1,000 metres. Those at depths beyond 1,500 metres are classified as ultra-deep-water blocks.

These are the areas where the Reliance Industries-led consortium has maximum discoveries.

Reliance Industries will not immediately be able to avail the new price as it remains locked in an arbitration with the government over alleged shortfall in production from its Krishna-Godavari basin fields.

The government has announced a new rate, effective April 1, at $4.66 a unit – lowering it by 8 percent from the earlier $5.61 owing to lower international prices.

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