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India's natural gas shortfall will rise by 23 per cent over the next two years as domestic output falls short of demand, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said today.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, he said India's gas shortfall will rise from 83 billion cubic metre (bcm) in the current fiscal to 98 bcm next year and 102 bcm in 2017-18.
India is expected to produce 36 bcm of gas from domestic fields, way short of the demand for 119 bcm.
He said domestic output will rise to 40 bcm in 2016-17 and 47 bcm in the next, according to projections of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).
Demand, on the other hand, will rise to 138 bcm next fiscal and 149 bcm in 2017-18.
"The gap between domestic production of natural gas and projected demand is likely to widen in coming years as per the study carried out by DGH and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)," he said.
Gas demand is price sensitive and likely to vary depending on market conditions.
To a separate question on Essar Oil, Pradhan said it has sought access to state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation's (HPCL) Mundra-Delhi pipeline to move petroleum products from its refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat to north.
"Oil PSUs have informed that existing pipeline networks are, by and large, operating optimally and there is practically no scope for sharing capacity of any pipeline with any other company," he said.
HPCL, he said, had declared 3.06 million tonnes per annum common carrier capacity for different pipelines, of which Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has utilised the capacity of Mundra-Delhi and Awa-Salawas pipelines to the extent of 0.24 million tonnes.
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