$60 billion investment lined up in natural gas sector: Oil minister Pradhan

India is likely to witness investments to the tune of a whopping $60 billion in the natural sector as part of efforts to transform the country into a gas-based economy using natural gas a transition fuel, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said.

“Our government is working towards increasing the share of gas from 6.2 per cent (currently) to 15 per cent in the energy mix by 2030,” he said at an industry event here, adding an.estimated investment of $60 billion is being lined up in the sector, developing a “one Nation one Gas Grid”, cross-country pipelines, rapid expansion of LNG infrastructure, City Gas Distribution (CGD) network expanding to cover over 70 per cent of the population covering 407 districts across 28 states and union territories.

He also said the government is actively encouraging use of LNG, among others, for long-haul trucking along expressways, industrial corridors and inside mining areas, marine applications, apart from making natural gas easily available at doorsteps for users through mobile dispensing.

The government is trying to “Reform, Perform and Transform” the sector through policy and market reforms in key areas including exploration and production, refining, marketing, natural gas and global cooperation, the minister said. The overall area under oil and gas exploration has increased from 90,000 square kilometer in 2014 to 227,000 square kilometer at the end of 2019.

India is also promoting the use of Compressed Biogas (CBG) in a big way for automotive, industrial and commercial uses in coming years given the abundance of biomass in the country. Around 5,000 compressed biogas plants are being set up, mostly by private entrepreneurs, under the SATAT scheme that provides assured price and offtake guarantee by oil marketing companies.

These plants will help tackle the problem of agricultural waste burning and increase farmers’ earnings.

ET News
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