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  • The year 2017-18 witnessed significant efforts by the government to drive investments in the natural gas sector. It was marked by the government' s decision to hike natural gas prices after a long period of falling prices. The government also launched the first bidding round under the newly formulated Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) under which over 2.8 million square km of hydrocarbon sedimentary area was offered for auction. The bidding round received an overwhelming response with 110 e-bids received for 55 blocks on offer.

  • The union cabinet also approved the second round of Discovered Small Field (DSF) bidding (with 60 small fields on offer) in February 2018. The bidding process is expected to start in September 2018.
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  • The prospects for the city gas distribution (CGD) segment have also improved significantly in the past couple of years. The network has continued to grow and fresh licences have been issued at a much faster pace. The segment offers significant opportunities for all stakeholders. The recently announced ninth CGD bidding round has received a good response from both domestic and global players. More than 400 bids have been received for the 86 geographical areas (GAs) offered. The bidding round is estimated to entail an investment of about Rs 700 billion

  • Meanwhile, the gas supply situation improved only slightly in 2017-18 with domestic gas production standing at about 90 mmscmd, an increase of a meagre 2 per cent over the previous year. The consumption of natural gas has, however, been rising consistently since 2014-15.

  • Nearly 45 per cent of the shortfall in gas production is met through LNG imports. At least 19 mtpa of LNG import capacity is under construction and another 30 mtpa is proposed/planned to be added in the future. India is also diversifying its LNG sourcing options to ensure procurement at competitive prices. Further, to take advantage of falling global LNG prices, Indian gas companies have renegotiated the terms of three long-term contracts.

  • In the past one year, India's CBM production has also expanded rapidly on the back of favourable policy initiatives. CBM output doubled from around 1 million cubic metres per day in 2017 to 2.3 million cubic metres per day in 2018.

  • In contrast, not much progress has been made in the pipeline segment. Utilisation of the existing pipelines remained low. The development of new pipelines has been slow owing to issues related to land acquisition and right-of-use.

  • Meanwhile, Indian gas companies in the upstream, midstream and downstream segments are actively moving towards automation and digitalisation. Applications such as enterprise resource planning, terminal automation system, smart metering and customer relation management are being deployed to automate business processes. Also, advanced solutions such as SCADA, GIS, satellite surveillance system and remote sensors are being deployed for monitoring gas transmission pipelines.

  • The mission of this conference is to discuss the recent trends and developments in the natural gas sector, highlight key issues and concerns, and examine the way forward in light of the recent policy and regulatory initiatives. In addition, the conference will identify new and emerging opportunities in the sector. It will also showcase some of the noteworthy technologies and projects.

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