India received the first consignment of Russian natural gas at Dehej port in Gujarat. Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan received the consignment while he was onboard the Russian ship LNG Kano. “The event is a golden day in India’s energy pursuit,” said Pradhan. Pradhan added that Modi government is committed to transforming India into a gas-based economy.
“Gas-based source is not for domestic use only. There has been 6% rise in domestic gas production. We want to increase our gas component in the energy basket from 6% to 15%, said Pradhan. Supply of natural gas from Russia can mitigate risks arising from low crude oil supply from Iran and Venezuela. Russia is world’s largest crude oil producer and second largest natural gas producer. India is world’s third largest energy consumer and fourth largest importer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
India has been expanding its oil supplier base in order to diversify its energy bouquet. In case of supply of natural gas to India, Russia is fourth after Qatar, Australia, and America. 40 lakh households in India have piped gas connection. The petroleum ministry is aiming to increase this number to 1 crore within 2 years. As more and more people use PNG instead of LPG, the subsidy load on the government will come down. When asked whether there is enough gas available for the switch Pradhan said, Yes and We are procuring more. Also, we expect a 100% increase in our domestic production”
The consignment of Russian gas came as a result of a long-term deal between India and Russia. Earlier, we had renegotiated the price of LNG from Qatar. We then reworked Australian supplies and now gas from Russia under renegotiated terms has started to come in,” said Dharmendra Pradhan. Energy experts say that there is a huge scope for increased gas usage in Indian economy. It is possible to generate more power and produce quality steel in addition to fertilizers without increasing the carbon emission share.