Global Energy Dialogue: India and Natural Gas; The Joining Together of Plentiful Supply with Promising Demand on November 30, 2016

The NITI Aayog, Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Confederation of Indian Industry conducted a high-level workshop for discussing natural gas in India in hotel The Lalit, Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, New Delhi on November 30, 2016. The workshop was graced by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Christopher Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy and Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog, India.

The global energy market needs India as much as India needs the global energy market. As global gas and oil markets are substantially oversupplied, producers are searching for new markets. As one of the fastest growing global economies, India is in search of new energy sources, including natural gas and oil. For the owners of gas, planning a course for its use in India will take more than capital deployment; it will take major changes all throughout the value chain and the policy and regulatory environment that oversees it. India's staggering pollution problems, need to balance large renewable power, and need for economic growth, in theory makes natural gas a natural fit for a more sustainable and manageable plan for development. Whether that theory can be tuned into practice partly depends on hard choices that policy makers in India face. Policy changes will need to be put into place so that higher gas penetration can be harmonized with renewables development to lower pollution and coal use and raise the possibility of sustainable economic development. Cheap domestic supplies of coal challenge gas directly, and a need for ushering-in market pricing is called for.

India's role in the emerging global gas market will be important to the pace with which global gas supply and demand will get back in balance and how the commodity will be priced. Every sector, from power generation to transportation, is in play for gas, but is also vulnerable to emerging competition from alternatives ranging from natural gas liquids in residential/commercial development to solar and wind, and in particular coal, in power generation.

This workshop brought together a small, select group of senior policymakers, regulatory experts, private sector executives, and research scholars to share and discuss their insights. The workshop offered a central location for ideas and interactions from a wide range of backgrounds to come together and map out the future of the Indian gas market.

Presentions of this event is listed below -