Hardeep Singh Puri virtually addressing investors at India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, on Saturday addressed investors gathered at the Indian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai regarding gas distribution in India.

Puri invited global companies to invest in India’s energy transition and work with the government to achieve its vision to expand the green footprint by more than doubling the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket.

Addressing investors gathered at the India Pavilion during a roadshow ahead of the 11th round of bidding for city gas distribution (CGD), the minister said: “The demand for natural gas within the country has seen an upward tick from the past. The growth of the CGD industry showcases natural gas as a responsible alternative to its more polluting fossil fuel counterparts.”

Wide coverage

In the virtual address on Saturday, the minister further stated: “When the NDA government took office in 2014, only 34 geographical areas covering nine per cent population and 2.7 per cent of India’s geographical area were covered by CGD networks and on the completion of the 11th round, 96 per cent of the country’s population and 86 per cent of its geographic area would be covered under CGD network. The expected investment because of the concluded CGD bidding rounds is nearing a total of rupees 1.2 lakh crore.”

Huge opportunities

Tarun Kapoor, secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, during his keynote address invited the private sector to invest in the oil and gas sector.

“We want the private sector to come in a big way to join the Indian oil and gas sector. So far, public sector is leading, playing probably the very major role, but now, we want more and more companies from the private sector to join them,” he said.

The latest bidding round will offer 65 geographical areas spread over 19 states and one Union Territory, which would cover around 25 per cent of India’s population.

Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India speaking during a panel at the event at India Pavilion Image Credit: Supplied

Vision net-zero

“Natural gas is the future, and it will be the most important component of India’s energy bouquet to realise our vision of net-zero by 2070”, said Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, chairman, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.

Manoj Jain, chairman and managing director, Gas Authority of India Ltd, said: “GAIL has been a pioneer in CGD in India, and we are currently operating in 62 geographical areas. We are committed to covering the entire India with gas pipelines, including J&K [Jammu and Kashmir], soon.”

S. C. L. Das, director general, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons; Gajendra Singh, member, PNGRB; Suresh Manglani, CEO, Adani Gas Ltd, along with various CGD players from the public and private sector, also attended the bidding.

India is currently the third-largest primary energy consumer after China and the USA. The country aims to enhance the share of natural gas in its energy basket from 7.6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030.