The natural gas industry is a relatively new entrant in the Indian energy sector, it is on the verge of making significant contribution to the Indian economy and is expected to significantly contribute to reduce Gross Domestic Product - energy elasticity coefficient.

The seven fold increase in natural gas reserves during last twelve years have generated an optimism for future gas discoveries in Indian sedimentary basins. The natural gas production is expected to increase nearly five folds by the turn of century from the present level of eight billion cubic meter per annum. In this paper, an attempt has been made to determine an appropriate pattern for optimal utilisation of these large potentials of natural gas resources.

Presently, the priority use of gas is considered as feedstock in fertiliser sector. The relative scarcity of commercial fuels coupled with the burgeoning energy demand have paved the way for natural gas utilisation in other sectors. Systematic analysis has been carried out to determine the competitiveness of natural gas vis-a-vis other fuels/feedstocks in different sectors, taking into account, their historical growth trend.

The analysis indicate about eight fold increase in the deficit of power by the turn of the century, which can be economically and efficiently narrowed by the gas based power plants. The major portion of petroleum demand in transport and domestic sectors, presently met by import of middle distillates, may be substantially supplemented by natural gas, in future. Case studies for fuel replacement by gas, in these sectors, have also been discussed.

The integrated national development is expostulated by the development, distribution and diversification of natural gas through a ‘National Gas Grid’.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.