So there is a natural synergy in promoting greater flow of trade, investment, skills and services, across the gas-value-chain within the Asian region, PM Dr Manmohan Singh, said at the conference in Delhi.At the inaugural function of the two-day 7th Asia Gas Partnership Summit (AGPS) 2012, which was promoted by GAIL and organised by FICCI with the support of the International Gas Union in Delhi, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, said, “The emerging economies of Asia are rapidly increasing their use of natural gas. As an illustration, in the past five years, natural gas consumption in India and China has witnessed compounded annual growth rates of 14 and 18 per cent respectively. The remarkable growth in the use of gas in the Asian economies underscores the greater role that this region is poised to play in the future development of gas markets. The Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and the Middle-East, has already emerged as a principal source of gas supply. The Asian region, led by India and China, is also emerging as a major destination for that supply. Asia Pacific accounts for about 60 per cent of the world’s total LNG imports. Therefore, there is a natural synergy in promoting greater flow of trade, investment, skills and services, across the gas-value-chain within the Asian region. Indeed we should move beyond the conventional buyer-seller relationships to more comprehensive gas and energy partnerships in this region.”About development of shale gas and coal bed methane, he said, “The mapping of India’s shale gas resources has been undertaken and we are working to put in place a regulatory regime for licensing rounds by end 2013. We are also harnessing coal bed methane for which four licensing rounds have been held and commercial production has commenced at Raniganj in West Bengal. As India has one of the world’s largest coal reserves, we want to work with international companies having the requisite experience and expertise for exploitation of coal seam gas.”S Jaipal Reddy, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said, “The 7th AGPS brings together the key players in governments and industry to deliberate on issues confronting the global gas sector, namely, the evolving gas trade, connectivity of gas sources to gas markets, gas transportation and distribution, LNG technology, commercial and legal aspects in LNG trading and sustainability imperatives for the natural gas industry.”Speaking of the gas distribution network, he said, “Today, in India 51 cities and towns are covered under the city gas distribution network as a part of which PNG for cooking and CNG for the transport sector are being supplied. The Delhi Transport Corporation runs the world’s largest public transport system operated entirely on CNG. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has plans to roll out CGD networks in over 300 geographical areas in the country. We have a country-wide network of 12,500 km of gas pipelines, with another 12,000 km of pipelines under construction. If we add another 7,000 km of pipelines under bidding by the PNGRB, we are looking at the emergence of a National Gas Grid nearly 30,000 km in length by 2017, with a capacity of 875 mmscmd, to take natural gas to different markets across the length and breadth of India. India’s current gas pipeline capacity of 230 mmscmd is projected to quadruple in the next five years."Delivering the welcome address, RPN Singh, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said, “The growth of the gas sector in Asia, particularly in the emerging markets like China and India, would be broadly dependent upon three key factors. First, our ability to secure adequate, reliable and reasonably priced gas supplies to keep pace with the ever growing demand. Second our capacity to integrate the Asian gas market, so as to move towards an Asian gas market price, which would be more relevant to this region. And third, our resolve to promote gas for addressing climate change and sustainability concerns. It is how and how quickly we address these three challenges that will determine the future growth of natural gas in these emerging markets. In this context, the theme of this summit – Evolving Dynamics of the Asian Gas Market: Challenges of Sourcing, Integration and Sustainability, is timely and relevant.”Delivering a keynote at the summit, Datuk (Dr) Abdul Rahim Hashim, President, International Gas Union (IGU), said, “There is a need to restructure and liberalise our electricity and gas markets. It is imperative that energy at-large and gas in particular, is priced at market to reflect its true cost and value. This ensures the right incentives throughout the energy-value chain, to encourage efficient usage and to ensure continued investments in the upstream sector.”Addressing the topic, ‘Evolving Dynamics of the Asian Gas Market: Challenges of Sourcing, Integration and Sustainability’ he said, “The affordability and pricing of gas needs to be set against a backdrop of political considerations; gas price elasticity; the context of the fuels gas might compete with and price volatility. There must also be considerations relating to how carbon tax or ‘cap and trade’ policies might affect gas price formation, and whether a price formation mechanism is warranted.”Others present on the occasion were Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhury, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, GC Chaturvedi, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, BC Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL (India) and RV Kanoria, President, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).To ensure its energy needs, India seeks long-term partnership with countries and companies in the gas business. In this context, the theme of this summit ‘Evolving Dynamics Asian Gas Market: Challenges of Sourcing, Integration and Sustainability’ was highly relevant.The deliberations at the summit highlighted the challenges that face the nation and suggested strategies to address them.
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