NEW DELHI: In order to meet its objective of becoming a gas-based economy, India is urging Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importers like Japan and Korea to join hands to bring in a more "equitable" trade deal ecosystem.
Elaborating on this shift, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that India has set a target to raise the share of gas in its primary energy basket from about 6.5 per cent at present to 15 per cent, which would mean that annual gas consumption would accelerate from about 50 billion cubic meters to above 200 bcm in future.
In September 2013, India and Japan had set up a multilateral group of buyers to push for lower prices for the fuel and New Delhi, one of the first countries in Asia to renegotiate a long-term deal after the glut pushed down prices, is now seeking other importers to join them.
"A number of large Asian LNG buyers including India could benefit by joining hands and thereby bringing in more equitable trade deals," Pradhan said adding that a shift towards a gas-based economy would require adequate availability of natural gas through domestic production as well as imports, adequate investments in pipeline, LNG import terminal and city gas distribution infrastructure.
After joining ranks with Japan, India is keen to rope in South Korea and possibly also China in the buyers club. Analysts, too, believe that it will be a buyers market for a while and LNG buyers will continue to have options
To meet the demands that an economy with 15% share of gas in the energy basket will entail matching infrastructure of LNG import terminals and pipelines, he said. Besides LNG importing capacity being doubled from 25 million tonnes, pipeline network will be doubled to 30,000 km in next five years.