Updated March 7th, 2024 at 17:19 IST

Critical reforms for gas sector to ensure India’s sustainable energy future: Hardeep Puri

The government policies are aimed at fueling India's future critical reform initiatives, the Oil Minister said.

Reported by: Saqib Malik
Critical reforms for gas sector to ensure India’s sustainable energy future: Hardeep Puri | Image:Republic

Energy Transition Goals: The critical reform initiatives for gas sector have helped in expansion of gas-based economy to ensure sustainable, affordable, and secure energy future for India, said Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri. 

Delivering his address at the fourth edition of Republic Summit: Bharat, The Next Decade, Puri said the government has taken various steps, including, increasing domestic gas allocation for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG), diverting domestic gas from power and other non-priority sectors to meet the requirement for CNG (T) and PNG (D) segments. 
“The APM prices will be determined monthly at 10 per cent of the average Indian Crude Basket Prices, with a ceiling $6.5/MMBTU and floor $4/MMBTU,” added Puri. 
As per Puri, the government has incentivised investment in India’s energy and petroleum sector by ensuring that gas production from new wells of nomination fields will receive 20 per cent higher prices. A unified tariff regulations from April 2023 has been pressed, said Puri.


Fueling India’s future

The government policies are aimed at fueling India's future critical reform initiatives, the Oil Minister said. He highlighted the mandatory blending of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) in CNG and PNG segments, which is seen to have an increase and the  mandatory blending of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) in CNG and PNG segments is projected to be 5 per cent by FY 2028-29 onwards, the Minister said.
Puri said promoting biofuels in aviation with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blending targets will be 21 per cent initially for international flights
Besides, flagging off production from Krishna Godavari Basin and New Oil & Gas Discoveries from Mahanadi Basin which was earlier classified as a ‘No-Go’ area are the key highlights, Puri added.


Global oil economy 

As per Puri, the biggest global oil market disruption post 1973 has been witnessed of late. The embargo on Russia removes 10 million barrels/day, which is almost 10 per cent of global market, Puri added. 
The paper trade in oil is 30 times higher than physical trade, said the minister, adding that crude oil price has reached $137.65 $/BBL, while the gas price has reached 73.56 $/BBL. 
Commenting on the economic impact of global oil trends on India’s neighbouring countries, Puri said after the Russia- Ukraine war, Pakistan has seen spiraling energy prices forcing near-closure of fuel stations, limiting gas pump operation after 8pm. Puri added that Sri Lanka was witnessing the worst economic crisis, facing power cuts and shortages of essentials like fuel and food. 
“The petrol and diesel prices in Pakistan and Sri Lanka have soared after the Russia and Ukraine war,” Puri quipped.


Energy sector

Commenting on the changing dynamics of energy due to the impact on India from the Russia - Ukraine war, Puri said India was left with two options, either to reduce consumption or accept high prices. 
“India decided to increase the import of crude oil from Russia. This has helped India secure energy for India at affordable prices,” said Puri. 
Notably, in June 2023, India imported highest quantity of crude from Russia, which comes to almost 1.98 million barrels per day.
Puri said India's pragmatic approach has helped the country secure energy at affordable prices.
“In the pre-war scenario, India imported 0.01 barrels of crude from Russia, contributing  0.26 per cent, while in the post-war situation saw imports rise to 1 million barrels per day from Russia contributing 23.77 per cent,” Puri further added. 
In terms of energy diversification, Puri said India saw the diversified crude oil from 27 countries in 2006-2007 to 39 countries in 2022-23.
“The dependency on OPEC has also reduced to 61 per cent from 71 per cent for FY 2022-23,” Puri added.


Energy security

As per Puri, India has implemented four planks for country’s energy security. Diversification of crude oil import sources, increase of alternate energy sources like Bio-fuels, Ethanol and CBG, have been at the forefront of energy security initiatives, added Puri. 
“These efforts include increasing Energy and Petroleum footprint along with focus on domestic production. Besides, energy targets through EVs and hydrogen has been a key driver,” added Puri. 
Indian citizens have been protected from the ‘oil shock’ and seen a price stabilisation in the global mark, the Oil minister said. Besides, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government was ensuring confidence and a business-as-usual feeling, Puri further said. 
Puri said the central excise duty cut has been to the extent of Rs 13/litre for petrol, and Rs 16/litre for diesel, reduced twice between November 2021 and May 2022.
“The revenue foregone as a result of the cuts was Rs 2.2 lakh crore. VAT reduction in BJP-governed states to tackle energy price surge is notable,” Puri further said.


Oil PSUs

The oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) were paying back to India, in terms of their stellar performance, said Puri. 
“BPCL has achieved 75 per cent  of the anticipated disinvestment proceeds for the Government of India within a mere 9 months of a single year. BPCL earned a PAT of Rs 22,449 crore in the nine months of FY 2023-24,” Puri added. 
“The BPCL disinvestment target was approximately Rs 30,000 crore for its 53 per cent share,” the Minister added. The market capitalisation of the OMCs and upstream companies have more than doubled to nearly Rs 10 lakh crores as compared to July 2021, the Oil minister Puri further added.


Published March 7th, 2024 at 17:17 IST