Essay on Natural Gas Reserves of India

Since gas is essential for production of oil and is also valuable as a source of fuel on the oil-fields, care is taken to prevent waste of gas which was formerly so common in oil-fields. Gross production of Natural Gas in the country at 52.22 billion cubic meter during 2010-11.

The reserves of natural gas estimated in India from Bombay High, Assam, Gujarat, Rajasthan have been estimated, respectively, at 400.99 billion cu.m, 97.82, 41.26 and 0.74 million cu.m. The total Indian reserve comes to 540.81 billion cu.m. The domestic production may not go beyond 85 m cu.m. a day as against the demand upto 188 m cu. m. a day by the year 2005.

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The huge gap between the demand and the indigenous production will have to be filled through imports. Gas output is being increased through the development of the South Bassein and Gandhar fields, the main areas of production so far and new fields such as S-1 and B-55 in the Western Offshore region of the ONGC. The increasing demand has forced the Government to arrange for imports from west Asia.

Gas from the Naharkatiya, Cambay and Ankleshwar fields is being piped for use in factories at various centres in Assam and Gujarat to the extent of several million cubic metres a day. Natural gas is finding increasing use as fuel and in the manufacture of fertilizers, synthetic rubber and chemical products. Natural gas is found associated with or without petroleum.

About 23 billion cubic metres of natural gas is consumed in India. Large reserves of natural gas have been discovered in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Andaman reserves alone have 47.6 million cubic metres of natural gas. A huge natural gas field has recently been discovered in the Krishna-Godavari basin.

India produces about 27,860 million cubic metres of gas per year. Over three-fourth of the production comes from Mumbai High. 10 per cent from Gujarat, 7 per cent from Assam and the rest from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Rajasthan. The gas supplied for household use is called LPG (liquified petroleum gas), and the one used for running vehicles is called CNG (compressed natural gas). The recoverable reserves of natural gas (1 April, 2001) are estimated at 638 billion cubic metres. The production of natural gas in 2000-01 was 29.477 billion cubic metres.

Transportation, processing and marketing of natural gas in India is done by the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL). It is the largest company in India for marketing natural gas. It operates over 4200 kms of pipelines in the country and supplies gas to power plants and fertiliser factories. This company has seven LPG recovery plants—2 in Madhya Pradesh, 2 in Gujarat and one each in Assam, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It supplies gas to about 500 industrial units in different parts of the country.

India has developed a large network of pipelines for transportation of petrluem and gas. In recent years, India has become a big producer, consumer and importer of petroleum products.

At the current rate of consumption, India’s known reserves of oil will last for about 30-40 years only. Import of petroleum and its products will put heavy strain on our economic development. Transport sector consumes about 50 per cent of the total consumption of petroleum products; road transport alone consumes 37% of this consumption. 16 to 20% of the oil products are consumed by industries.