Indian Minister of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Visits GECF Headquarters
DOHA - On September 12, His Excellency Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel of the Republic of India, visited the Head Offices of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Doha. The Minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation including HE Mr. P. Kumaran, Ambassador of India to Qatar, Mr. B. N. Reddy, OSD(IC), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Sanjiv Singh, Chairman of the Indian Oil Corporation as well as Mr. D. Rajkumar, CMD, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Mr. Prabhat Kumar, MD, Petronet LNG Ltd. The meeting was part of HE Mr. Pradhan’s official visit to Qatar.
As one of the largest energy markets with a special interest in natural gas, India’s point of view is important in the dialogue between gas producers and consumers, which is one of the main objectives of the GECF, aimed at stability and security of supply and demand in natural gas markets.
During the meeting, HE Secretary General Dr. Sentyurin presented the recent developments of the Forum and provided an overview of the GECF’s activities and current programs.
In the light of the growing role of natural gas in the energy mix, as projected by the GECF Global Gas Outlook (GGO), views were exchanged on the current situation as well as the future prospects of global gas markets, with a focus on India.
According to the GECF’s projections based on the GECF Global Gas Model (GGM), India is set to be the economic growth engine of the Asian continent, in a context characterized by a slowdown of the Chinese economy and maturity of the traditional industrialized countries including Japan and South Korea. The economic growth prospects, in addition to increased urbanization, will drive energy demand in India, which the government strives to meet in more sustainable, affordable and accessible manner.
Over the outlook period, demand for natural gas in India is projected to grow at an annual average growth rate of 3.8%, from 59 bcm in 2018 to around 132 bcm in 2040, with the largest contribution coming from LNG. Overall gas demand is expected to increase by 126%, which is equivalent to an incremental 74 bcm. This takes into account the overall forecast for India’s economy, as well as the rapid expansion of urban populations and energy-intensive industries.
In line with the country’s modernization effort, India is pursuing an ambitious policy aimed at shifting its energy system towards sustainability, by encouraging the deployment of renewables and natural gas, and by promoting energy efficiency, particularly in the power generation and industrial sectors. The government has ambitions to meet the country’s huge energy needs while simultaneously ensuring energy justice and preserving the environment.
The GECF sees a positive outlook both in the short- and medium-term for gas production in India.
Both parties stressed the importance of dialogue in meeting challenges and working towards solutions and discussed concrete ways of collaborating in the future, for example in the form of research on issues related to energy and natural gas. HE Mr. Pradhan also extended an invitation to the GECF team to visit India.