Killing the hen, India’s gas pricing

Killing the hen, India’s gas pricing

Like most emerging economies, India too is dependent on fuel imports to meet its energy demand. The country bore a crude oil import bill of $64 billion in FY16 and effectively banks on imports to meet 80% of its’ oil consumption. Gas on the other hand paints a prettier picture with India meeting almost 60% of its demand through domestic production. But this data point only reveals a portion of India’s much messier natural gas story.

Gas is flared off from a flame boom aboard DCOR LLC's Edith offshore oil and gas platform in the Beta Field off the coast of Long Beach, California, USA, 18 May 2010. Senators from California, Oregon and Washington introduced legislation last week to ban offshore oil drilling off the West Coast amid mounting concern about the BP Deepwater Horizon rig spill spreading in the Gulf of Mexico. Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Gas is flared off from a flame boom aboard DCOR LLC’s Edith offshore oil and gas platform in the Beta Field off the coast of Long Beach, California, USA, 18 May 2010.Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Plagued by litigation over allegations of favoring industrialists and price curbs, domestic gas production has been on a steady decline. According to data compiled by EY, “the share of natural gas in the country’s primary energy mix declined from 10% in 2009 to 7% in 2014, compared with the global average of 24%, mainly due to a sharp drop in domestic supplies.” Global energy giant BP in its assessment of India’s energy market during 2015 notes that “gas production fell by 3.8%, its fifth continuous year of decline, 20 Billion cubic metres (Bcm) below the 2010 peak of 49.3 Bcm.” Continue reading “Killing the hen, India’s gas pricing”

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HELP is not enough

 

“HELP is on its way!” quipped a senior official in India’s oil ministry a day before the union cabinet approved the new hydrocarbon policy. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, while announcing the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licencing Policy, emphasised on its acronym HELP, hinting how his government believes that this is the panacea for India’s upstream hydrocarbon sector.

Oil pump at sunset
Oil pump at sunset (Courtesy: http://www.investmentu.com/)

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India and five pillars of energy

Envisaging India’s National Wind Energy Mission

New Delhi: Over the course of the past year, India’s ambitious solar energy plans have been consistently reaffirmed after the 100 GW capacity expansion plan for a whopping Rs 6 lakh crore. Relatively neglected is India’s wind generation ability and capacity. With an off-shore wind policy on the cards, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is looking to re-launch India’s wind energy prospects.

Wind Energy projects in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu | Photo courtesy: Sindhu Hariharan
Wind Energy projects in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu | Photo courtesy: Sindhu Hariharan

Sources say that the new Off-Shore Wind Policy would seek international competitive bidding for projects. “The National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) would call for bids on behalf of MNRE. We expect keen participation from countries around the North Sea. States like Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat would benefit as they have immense offshore wind potential,” an official said. Continue reading “Envisaging India’s National Wind Energy Mission”

Energising India: Action before auction

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of a 10 per cent reduction in oil imports has expanded the purview of “Make in India” to India’s ailing oil exploration sector.

Image courtesy: Wisegeek.com
Once an oil deposit has been accessed through a drill, pumpjacks are often placed over the well to pump out crude oil. Image courtesy: Wisegeek.com

Pressure is now building up on companies to extract more oil from the domestic blocks. Notably, only 15 per cent of the awarded Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for oil and gas finds have managed to yield. Of the 213 discoveries awarded so far, only 31 (20 crude oil blocks and 11 gas assets) are currently under production.

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The curious case of Jayalalithaa and Tamil Eelam

None of India’s neighbours influence electorates in State Assembly elections as magnanimously as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean — Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu (TN) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s disapproval of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presence during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony is the tip of the iceberg. Intriguingly, Amma’s (Mother’s, Jayalalithaa is endearingly referred so) diplomatic war against the Sri Lankan government is a recently revived phenomenon.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Source: PTI

 

Initial dismay

It was the year 2002 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition government had refused to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Then TN’s Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa was rampantly exploiting this draconian legislation to suppress pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) voices in the state. The state government under provisions of POTA even jailed Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader, V Gopalasamy (Vaiko) on July 11, 2002 for his LTTE sympathiser activities. Continue reading “The curious case of Jayalalithaa and Tamil Eelam”

Development vs Environment: A futile debate

The debate between the environment and development has been a persistent yet futile one. First focused at the United Nations Human Environment Conference at Stockholm (1972), concerns for the environment have gained greater relevance as the industrialised world has progressed. The debate largely pitched development and environment in opposing factions until the concept of sustainable development was devised at the Rio 20+ summit in 1992.

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A garbage bin at Elliot’s Beach

Sustainable development was defined as being comprised of social, economic and environmental progress. At the conference, it was recognised that development and environment should be symbiotic and not be treated as conflicting entities.

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