Natural Gas Being The Fuel Of 21st Century India: Issues And Concerns

Authors: Sheetal Saraswat and Vibhor Sharma**

The energy sector in India has been receiving high priority in the planning process. The growth of an economy, with its global competitiveness, hinges on the availability of cost-effective and environmentally benign energy sources. Even the level of economic development has been observed to be reliant on the energy demand. In the recent years, the government has rightly recognized the energy security concerns of the nation and more importance is being placed on energy independence.[1]

Natural gas being the cost-effective and environmentally benign energy source suffices to be the fuel of 21st century. This article aims to provide an insight as to why the natural gas is hailed as the fuel of 21st century India.

Natural Gas being the most economical energy option is vital both to today’s energy mix, and our energy future. Investing in the natural gas industry is not only a smart business decision, but also an essential environmental choice and expanded use and export of natural gas technologies offers significant macroeconomic benefits.

Natural Gas commonly known as “The Green Fuel” is most cleanest and efficient hydrocarbon because of its chemical properties. Natural Gas (NG) has the potential to emerge as a fuel of choice for many sections of Indian industries. The growing global demand for cleaner-burning fuel offers natural gas the prospect of rapidly expanding global market in the coming decades.

As, India prepares to be a developed nation it needs to take note of environmental issues with the economic development. Natural Gas being cleanest, most efficient fossil fuel provides greater environmental security. The increased use of natural gas could help the nation meet its environmental, economic and national security goals. Increasingly stringent environmental regulations will spur switch to cleaner burning natural gas. Using more natural gas will help ease a number of environmental concerns – greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, smog, solid waste and water pollution.

NATURAL GAS AND HISTORY:

What is Natural Gas?

Natural gas is a highly combustible odorless and colorless hydrocarbon gas largely composed of methane. Natural gas is created in roughly the same manner as oil, by geologic processes that act upon organic matter over millions of years. Natural gas gives off a lot of heat and light when it burns, but doesn’t produce smoke. Natural gas emits 60% less carbon dioxide than coal and 42% less than oil, although it does emit other non-carbon greenhouse gases. Natural gas is an efficient fuel and saves up to 30% of energy in most applications.[2]

For the first time struck at Oracle of Delphi[3] in ancient Greece, on Mount Parnassus approximately 1000 B.C. Britain was the first country to commercialize the use of natural gas. Around 1785, natural gas produced from coal was used to light houses, as well as streetlights.

In the early days of oil exploration, natural gas was often an unwelcome by-product. In the past 40 years, the use of natural gas has grown. Now, and particularly after the oil shortages of the seventies, natural gas has become an important source of energy in the world.

NATURAL GAS IN INDIA

Natural gas use in India really started to grow in the late 1970s after the first major gas finds in the western offshore and the development of the first transmission pipeline in the northern region. Before 2009, gas demand potential was estimated to be 20 or 30 bcm higher than actual use as consumption had been constrained by the lack of supply for over a decade.[4]

To address the supply shortfall, the Indian government passed some reforms at the end of the 1990s to encourage domestic production and the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. In particular, the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) opened Exploration & Production to private and foreign companies. This has been relatively successful: after stagnating since the early 2000s, Indian gas production is expected to double between 2008 and 2011 due to the start of the Krishna Godavari KG-D6 field in April 2009.

The potential for growth of the natural gas market in India is tremendous; however, this is a very price sensitive market as the ability of customers to pay differs between sectors. The power generation and fertilizer sectors are the main consumers. Fertilizer producers are subsidized by the government and have limited ability to absorb higher prices.

In the power generation sector, gas has to compete against coal for base-load generation. Any change in the power sector or in coal markets will have a huge impact on whether gas is used as a base-load option or for peak purposes, and therefore on future gas demand in the power sector. City gas and industrial users show greater price flexibility, but they are still emerging markets.

Historically, gas had been allocated in priority to fertilizer and power plants, while city gas, compressed natural gas (CNG) and industrial had the remainder. Furthermore, fertilizer producers and power generators were allocated gas at low Administrative Price Mechanism (APM) prices determined by the government. But the recent pricing reforms that took place mid- 2010 mean the end of low APM prices, and that new gas supplies are likely to be more expensive.

The Indian gas sector, like the whole energy sector, is dominated by state-owned companies. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have dominant upstream positions, while until 2006; Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) alone had been responsible for pipeline gas transport. The state has also a very important role in the regulatory framework and gas policy, in particular the allocation and pricing of gas. Recent reforms have brought more private investors in the upstream and downstream sectors, but a more transparent regulatory framework will be critical to incentive future private investments.

The Indian gas market is therefore at a crossroads in 2010. Despite the dramatic increase of domestic production, last year has witnessed a tough battle over the allocation and the pricing of KG-D6 gas, which could have far-reaching consequences for many stakeholders. In order for the Indian gas market to reach its potential, there are still many hurdles to be solved on pricing, supply, infrastructure, regulation and policy.

PRESENT SCENARIO OF NATURAL GAS MARKET IN INDIA

The Natural Gas markets in India are developing rapidly. Over the past decade the volumes have gone up significantly with commencement of NELP gas production, followed by introduction of term LNG and finally with the supplies from RIL’s KG D6 gas fields. In a short span of time the gas supply volumes in the country have tripled. Yet the demand for natural gas has been growing and continuing to grow at an unrelenting pace. From the current share of 10% of the energy basket of the country, it is anticipated to grow to about 25% by 2025. The demand comes from a variety of consuming sectors. However power and fertiliser would require the maximum amount of gas in quantitative terms. Even as industrial and city gas demand grows rapidly, we anticipate that about 70-75 percent of the new demand originating from the power and fertiliser sectors.

Natural gas has emerged as the most preferred fuel due to its inherent environmentally benign nature, greater efficiency and cost effectiveness. The demand of natural gas has sharply increased in the last two decades at the global level. In India too, the natural gas sector has gained importance, particularly over the last decade, and is being termed as the Fuel of the 21st Century.

RELATED LAWS, POLICIES AND REGULATORY BODIES AND STATUES

By virtue of Article 297 of the Constitution of India, petroleum in its natural state is vested in the Government of India (GOI). MoPNG is the administrative body entrusted with responsibilities relating to Exploration and Production of oil and Natural Gas, their refining, distribution, marketing, and import-export. MoPNG, constituted the office of the Director General of Hydrocarbon to ensure optimum exploitation, review/approve development plans, work programmes, budget, reservoir evaluation, and advise on midcourse corrections in connection with discovered fields.

The regulation for the granting of exploration licences and mining leases in respect of Natural Gas is covered under the Oilfields (Regulations and Development) Act, 1948 (‘Oilfields Act’), together with Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 1959 and Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 2002 (‘PNG Rules’) (framed under the Oilfields Act). The Petroleum Act, 1934, along with the PNG Rules, regulates the transmission, distribution, and marketing of NG. The Oilfields Act provides for the regulation of oilfields (the definition of which covers gas fields) and for the development of mineral oil (the definition covers NG) resources. The PNG Rules, 1959 regulates the granting of PEL and Petroleum Mining Leases (‘PML’). The regulation for exploration and exploitation of resources in the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone is governed by the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive Economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act, 1976. NELP provides for a competitive bidding structure for E&P based on the MPSC. GOI offers 100% foreign participation for E&P and grants attractive concessions such as an income tax holiday for seven years from the start of commercial production.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (‘PNGRB’) is the downstream oil and gas regulator, established by the GOI under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006 (‘Regulatory Board Act’) which is effective from 1st October 2007. It has provisions to promote competitive markets by regulating refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing, and the sale of petroleum, petroleum products and NG, excluding production of crude oil and Natural Gas. As per the Policy issued by GOI in 2006 relating to Development of Natural Gas Pipelines and City or Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks, PNGRB has to ensure and regulate the procedures to develop pipeline infrastructure and standards for interconnectivity, common carriage, capacity for transmission and regulation of tariffs for LNG transportation. PNGRB is working on policy to allow companies to use the unutilised capacity at LNG terminals. The Oil and Industrial Development Board was formed under the Oil Industry (Development) Act, 1974 wherein the board is invested with the powers to lay down conditions of granting financial assistance for R&D, etc.

INTERNATIONAL OIL & GAS DIPLOMACY: INDIAN PERSPECTIVE

Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. International diplomacy usually refers to the conduct of international relations[5] through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics, culture, environment and human rights. Similarly the intercession of governmental diplomats on the issues of oil and gas coordination and unification of the petroleum policies for determination of the best means for safeguarding their interests, individually and collectively[6] is international oil and gas diplomacy.

Energy is a key industry for many of the world’s nations, economically, socially, and politically. A country’s national security as a whole and its energy component in particular depend on the state of its fuel and energy complex. This results in special attention from government agencies to issues of ensuring energy security, including how these apply to international relations.[7]

With the Indian economy poised for a robust growth in the next few years, energy security has become the focal point of policy formulation. From domestic finds in oil and gas to acquiring hydrocarbon assets abroad, dealing with foreign investors and negotiating transnational pipelines — all these issues have emerged as key points in India’s quest to secure its energy future.

Former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister and Rajya Sabha member Mani Shankar Aiyar on India’s oil diplomacy and the changing dynamics of world energy mentioned that, “India should engage in aggressive oil diplomacy.”[8]

To strengthen his point Mr Aiyar affirmed that, “What we also need is a national energy policy and national energy security adviser to secure our future. We need an explorer-friendly exploration policy if domestic natural gas output is to surge. There is very active energy diplomacy called for. Even if all the dreams of thorium energy of Dr. Manmohan Singh are realised, then also we must realise that we cannot get to the 50s without passing through the 20s, 30s, and 40s. And if we falter in between, we won’t need thorium based energy as our economy would have collapsed by that time. I don’t know why we do not make both in the External Affairs Ministry and Petroleum Ministry as well in other Ministries concerned with energy an ‘External Dimensional Energy Policy’ which is integrated with domestic needs. We have to become ‘hunters and predators’ for energy sources to keep our economy boiling.

Regional level energy diplomacy:

The regional priorities of India’s energy diplomacy dictate the steps to strengthen its position in the Asian region. India deficient in production of crude oil needs imports 80 per cent of its consumption needs. Therefore, instead of crude oil India exports refined petroleum products. India is the largest petroleum products exporter in Asia, surpassing South Korea.[9] The country’s energy strategy is oriented toward the large-scale inclusion of hydrocarbon resources from Saudi Arabia and Middle East countries for striking energy balance. Iran the country’s second-largest supplier after Saudi Arabia accounts for 10% of the total crude oil imports.[10] Overcoming the threats of disruption in the wake of sanctions by the U.S. and European Union on the Islamic Republic; we hope to increase our trade with Iran to $6 billion” in the FY 12.[11]

Moreover promoting the implementation of a number of major oil and gas projects, including the construction of new strategic projects abroad is one of the priority tasks of Indian diplomacy.

Instead of focusing on West Asia and the extended South Asia, which is a repository of hydrocarbons, we are keen on crossing “two oceans” to secure our energy needs. The government’s present integrated policies would not be able to secure energy for India in the 21st Century. The ground reality is that thorium- based energy would not be useful till the middle of the century. There is a need to competitively access oil and gas instead of finding ourselves stranded in a sellers’ market.

Our failure has been to recognise that though we ourselves have a hydrocarbon deficiency, our immediate and proximate neighbourhood is simply soaked in hydrocarbons. The largest availability of natural gas in the world is in Qatar.

We are geographically fortunate in being able to potentially access by pipeline the gas resources of not only Turkmenistan and Afghanistan but also Uzbekistan, Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. To the East of us, gas is available in Myanmar, which it supplies to Thailand. We have made no arrangement to pipe this gas through a network of pipelines and bring it to India.

No progress has been made in talks to arrive at a deal with South Korea to supply gas from Sakhalin where we have a commercial interest on the basis of a switch deal to get gas into India from Sumatra.

Australia is emerging as a major supplier of gas; we have done nothing to secure gas assets there. Sitting as a terribly gas deficient nation, sitting in the centre of what would be a multiple sources of natural gas supply and to do nothing to access it shows the absence of recognition of importance of energy diplomacy.

STAKEHOLDERS INTEREST:

A stakeholder is any individual or organization that is affected by the activities of a business. They may have a direct or indirect interest in the business, and may be in contact with the business on a daily basis, or may just occasionally.

Stakeholders, by definition, have a direct or indirect interest in the processes and outcomes of any development project.

Large organizations have many different stakeholder groups. Some are internal to the business, like employees. Others are external as they are outside of the business, like government. It is important to identify and balance the needs and expectations of these groups and to act responsibly to all of them in order to keep the ‘license to operate, which is necessary for good business.

In an interview former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister and Rajya Sabha member Mani Shankar Aiyar was questioned that, “What is the reason that foreign investors are fighting shy of investing in India especially when the economy is doing exceptionally well?” To which he replied emphasizing that, “The government’s intervention in the Ambani brother’s gas (RIL vs. RNRL)[12] dispute had adverse fallout on India’s energy security. To resolve a quarrel between two brothers, the government intervened to remind them that natural gas constitutes a sovereign national resource.

Following the legal dispute, prices are to be determined prospectively or retrospectively and where the gas must be sold will be determined by the government. In consequence, while the internecine fraternal quarrel is over, foreign and even domestic private sector interest in exploration has plummeted.

While the number of blocks for exploration increased, the number of awards has decreased and private bidders are keeping away, due to the government’s gas policy and production sharing contract. This is essentially because we are perceived with some justice as a country where production sharing contracts are ambiguously drafted and terms redefined to the disadvantage of the investor who signed the documents in good faith.

India is also perceived as a country where producers can neither determine their prices nor choose their own customer. Cairn, the most successful oil entrant in the Indian hydrocarbon sector, is packing its bags and handing over finds to Vedanta Resources, owned by a non-resident Indian, who has no previous experience of oil and gas.

They are only waiting for the Indian government’s green signal so that they can leave forever for the green pastures of Greenland. What an indictment! India imports more than 75 per cent of its crude, along with one-fifth of its gas.

Instead, alas, we are doing practically everything we can to discourage international and even domestic players from entering our uncertain, deeply ambiguous hydrocarbons sector, thus massively promoting energy insecurity.”

Thus, the governments need to remould the policies so as to attract more foreign players on the path of UK by balancing the need of all stakeholders is particularly very important. It is not easy to balance the needs of stakeholders. In order to best achieve this balance the government should improve its communication and dialogue with all of these groups. In this way it is possible to take account of everyone’s needs and expectations in making decisions for today and the future

SHALE GAS: A GAME CHANGER

Hitherto India’s persistent efforts during the last two decades to build pipelines to bring gas from Turkmenistan, Iran, Qatar, Bangladesh and Myanmar have remained pipe dreams. Alternate energy sources like ethanol and bio diesel, wind and solar are gaining importance on the national agendas. India may succeed in increasing the contribution of nuclear energy, thanks to Indo-US Nuclear Deal.

But a recent phenomenon of shale gas which has brought about seismic changes in the natural gas scene — has not been given the importance it deserves. Energy economists all over the world have started to admire with awe the great achievement of oil companies in the US in developing shale gas resources on a large scale during the last decade.

Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas. Shale gas is one of the predominant unconventional natural gas and major source of on land gas.
These unconventional deposits have raised estimates for U.S. gas reserves from 30 years to 100 years at current usage rates. Shale gas deposits were not considered worth tapping before Houston billionaire George P. Mitchell pioneered new extraction techniques in the 1990s.

In US, shale gas production contributes to nearly 17 per cent of the total gas production. . It is the new focus area in the U.S., Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs.

In regard of Shale Gas the future of India’s energy sector does not look that bleak after all. According to New York-listed Schlumberger, a global leader in oilfield services, has pegged the reserves of gas in shale deposits across the country at 300 times higher than Reliance’s Krishna Godavari (D6) basin, by far the largest gas field in the country.

As per the initial studies, many shale sequences in well explored basins are found to be promising like Damodar, Cambay, and Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins. The potentiality of these basins was also vetted by international experts.

Such alternative resource has the potential to move the Indian gas market from gas-constrained to gas-balanced. India, the second fastest-growing major economy in the world, now needs increased gas output to feed its new power plants. The country also expects more fertiliser plants to use gas instead of naphtha in order to reduce fertiliser subsidy.

Shale is a rock formation that contains extractable gas and it is found in abundance across the country, especially in the Gangetic plain, Gujarat and Assam.

RELATED CHALLENGES:

In regard of this alternate source of energy already in vogue in western countries have many challenges to face in India. Among the many issues and concerns in regard of the shale gas the most important is its recovery

Recovering shale gas from massive reserves doesn’t seem easy. Unlike conventional oil exploration, shale gas exploration is continuously mobile and moves from one spot to another, requiring more land for exploration. Thus matters like land acquisition would be a challenge. Looking into the increase and pendency of land acquisition related cases, land seems to be the most precious resource in India. .

Besides, there is the fear that the pursuit for shale gas would cause irrevocable damage to the environment because of shale fracking. As fracking involve pumping chemicals into the rocks with water in order to extract natural gas. Lot of environmentalists in many countries have opposed gas fracking. They fear drinking water could be contaminated by toxic fracking chemicals, and that gas might leak into domestic water supplies.

During the recent visit of US President Barack Obama, India signed a deal on shale gas resources which seeks America’s co-operation in assessing India’s shale resources and in framing a regulatory regime with safeguards for sustainable development of this unconventional energy source.

ABSENCE OF POLICY FRAMEWORK:

In January 2011 state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has announced shale gas reserves in West Bengal.[13] As per the initial studies, many shale sequences in well explored basins are found to be promising like Damodar, Cambay, and Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins

India will soon launch its first-ever bid round for exploration of shale gas. The offering of shale gas areas would, however, will be “subject to certain legislation changes”, India aims to put in place a policy framework for exploitation of shale gas in a year’s time.

India has signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for knowledge-sharing in the area of shale gas. Joining the global race to tap unconventional hydrocarbon sources to meet energy needs, India will launch its maiden bid round for exploration of shale gas during the 12th Plan Period (2012-17).

According to Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy the ministry is working to put in place a regulatory regime for licensing round in shale gas.The (shale gas) will add up additional resources in our hydrocarbon resource base. The government is formulating a policy for offering the areas for shale gas exploration in the near future.”[14]

RELATED DIPLOMATIC ISSUES:

Chudamani Ratnam, former chief of Oil India Ltd, repeatedly claimed that India had a treasure trove of shale oil in Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the north-east and these deposits could produce 140 million tonnes per year for 100 years, making India a net oil exporter.

Arunachal Pradesh has an additional environmental issue– its shale lies in prime forest. So, nobody will use the 1970s technology in the state. However, fracking avoids problems of the old technology. It entails drilling underground, and so will not disturb forests or create mountains of spent shale.

Oil India came across shale deposits in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland decades ago, and should act immediately to delineate the frackable proportion. Meanwhile, New Delhi should tweak its new policy on shale gas including environmental safeguards to cover shale oil too.[15]

China claims Arunachal Pradesh on historical grounds. But shale oil can give its claim a new dimension. This has already happened in the South China Sea, which China claims for historical reasons, but also because it has huge oil potential.

Within a decade, China may overtake the US as the world’s biggest oil importer. China will surely protest diplomatically against Indian exploitation of shale oil in Arunachal Pradesh, just as it has opposed hydel projects there. India must reject such protests firmly and go full speed ahead.

CONCLUSION

After spanning the whole of Indian Natural Gas Scenario and all related aspects it appears that India needs a clear policy and regulatory framework in order to attract investments required in energy sector, not only to sustain a high economic growth, but also to deal with poverty which leaves millions of people without access to energy. The role and powers of the regulators have to be clearly defined. India has opened up to private and foreign companies and these need regulatory stability with minimum intervention from the state. Though there have been some positive developments in the upstream sector resulting in participation of JV and private companies and leading to some attractive discoveries including that in KG Basin but there are still some policy and pricing issues in NELP which is discouraging wide participation and investment by private companies.

After looking into the availability issue it comes into picture that India remains largely underexplored and major efforts have to be made in this respect to develop additional domestic supplies. Although India is geographically located close to gas rich countries like Iran, Turkmenistan, etc., import of gas from these countries to India through pipelines is yet to become a reality. India has been increasingly importing LNG and is building new regasification terminals to handle additional imports in future. It is expected that the future gas supplies in the coming five years will be based on two sources: domestic production and LNG supplies.

Moreover it is important to note in regard of the natural gas pricing issue that Indian gas market needs a rational gas pricing mechanism to encourage efficient consumption and development of natural gas infrastructure, while preserving the incentives to gas suppliers. Gas price pooling (either based on cost pooling or bid based pooling) is desirable for all the sectors consuming gas in order to bring in price stability at the individual consumer level. Pricing will determine the balancing point between supply and demand.

Demand and supply are influenced by different factors but have, nevertheless, been kept broadly in balance by a complex system of administered pricing and quantitative allocation. The distortions have been spread across the gas consuming sectors, notably in sectors such as power and fertilisers, and have also affected the development of domestic supply as well as infrastructure – such as pipelines.

However, the analysis conducted in the Chapter V of the dissertation illustrate that Power and Fertilizer being the most vulnerable sectors, it is imperative for the Power and Fertilizer sectors to have a stable (within a range) gas price.

In order to find the answer for above questions we need to first reckon over the two questions that,” Why has the process of reform been so difficult in the gas and gas-related sectors? Why cannot gas in India just be liberalised – handed over to the market?” After all, as noted in this paper, liberalisation and marketisation have gone much further in the case of oil – so what is special about gas?

We suggest that there are two reasons. The first is simply infrastructure. Even in a fully marketised economy, infrastructure (such as the system of gas pipelines) requires regulation and coordination – in a word, ‘planning’. Liberalisation requires institutions of the appropriate kind.

The second is both more important, and more difficult. Gas in India is mostly used in fertiliser production and in power generation. India has a long tradition of providing basic goods to the poorer sections of society at highly subsidised and controlled prices. Within the state sector, much of this subsidy has been provided by allocating low-priced gas to the producers of fertiliser (mostly urea) and electric power. These producers pass on their low-priced outputs to the final consumers – especially in the agricultural/rural sector of the Indian economy. Thus gas pricing and allocation has been intertwined with some of the most important and challenging distributional objectives of Indian development strategy.

When available, coal out competes natural gas in the power sector and industrial use. The experience in India through the 1990s and early 2000s suggests that coal use could be constrained because of lack of investment in new production capacity or the resolution of transportation bottlenecks. Such constraints on coal could lead to a much larger role for natural gas.

But coal sector reforms being undertaken are likely to dramatically expand the availability of coal. In India, liberalization of the coal sector is expected to introduce new mining technology, stimulate more efficient operations from CIL, and bypass transportation bottlenecks (through coal-by-wire and imports). While coal prices will increase as a result, they are not expected to increase enough to allow natural gas to outcompete coal as a fuel for base load power.

Thus, there is an urgent need for Indian policymakers to draw on market oriented solutions to resolve the immense uncertainty that exists in the gas sector. The policy measures announced in 2011, and in Budget 2012, are steps towards this; additionally, the recent deregulation of prices in the oil sector are an illustration of the fact that the government may not intend to stop its progression with reforms on gas.

The annual growth has been commendable and will accelerate in future consequently encouraging all round growth and development. This has necessitated the need for a wider intensified search for new fields, evolving better methods of extraction, refining and distribution, the constitution of a national price mechanism – keeping in mind the alarming price fluctuation in the recent past and evolving a spirit of equitable global cooperation. Hence, there is an emphasized need for wider and more intensive exploration for new finds, more efficient and effective recovery, a more rational and optimally balanced global price regime – as against the rather wide upward fluctuations of recent times, and a spirit of equitable common benefit in global energy cooperation.

In short, in the ‘bigger’ story, the current situation in the gas sector is arguably better than what it was before; however, it also presents new and more urgent challenges. The transition must continue, in order to ensure that India moves forward from its current ‘half way house’ position.

**Sheetal Saraswat is a Graduate [B.A, LL.B (Hons.)] from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun. She specialises in Energy Laws, especially in  Laws relating to Oil & Gas and Policies thereto.

**Vibhor Sharma graduated [B.A, LL.B (Hons.)] in June 2012 from University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun. Currently practicing in Rajasthan High Court.

  1. President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam (14 Aug 2005) President’s Independence Day Address, 59th Independence Day,” emphasized that energy independence has to be the nation’s first and highest priority, and India must be determined to achieve this within the next 25 years”. The Hindu, Retrieved from http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/nic/presidentiday.htm
  2. Mahalingam Sudha (June 2006) “Is natural gas the fuel of the 21st century?” Infochange News & Features, Retrieved from http://infochangeindia.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=5656
  3. C. Jent (12 Nov. 2007) Natural Gas and the Oracle of Delphi, Enzine Articles, Retrieved from: http://ezinearticles.com Web. 22 Dec. 2011.
  4. Anne Sophie Corbeau (2010) “Natural Gas in India” International Energy Agency (IEA).
  5. Ronald Peter Barston, Modern diplomacy, Pearson Education, 2006, p. 1
  6. Speech Delivered by Dr Alvaro Silva-Calderón, OPEC Secretary General to the seminar organized by the International Institute of Energy Policy & Diplomacy of MGIMO-University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 3rd Russian Oil Gas Week, Moscow, Russia, 5th November 2003
  7. Stanislav Zhiznin, “The Architecture of Oil and Gas Diplomacy”, Oil of Russia, Retrieved from: http://www.oilru.com/or/46/971/ Web. April 6, 2012.
  8. Sujay Mehdudia interviewed Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister and Rajya Sabha member on India’s oil diplomacy and the changing dynamics of world energy, The Hindu, September 23, 2010
  9. Manu P. Toms ,“India is top exporter of petro products in Asia”, Business Line, The Hindu, print, August 26, 2010, Retrieved from: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article1002463.ece Web. March 23,2012.
  10. India in Talks With Iran on Crude Supply, online wall street journal ,By RAKESH SHARMA And RAJESH ROY. Retrieved from: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577297150722980994.html web. 2 April 2012
  11. “India steps up trade with Iran”, The European Political Newspaper, February 9, 2012 Retrieved frm: http://www.neurope.eu/article/india-steps-trade-iran. Web. March 22, 2012.
  12. Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. vs Reliance Industries Ltd.
  13. India working on shale gas policy framework, May 10, 2011, The hindu, Retrieved from: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/article2006549.ece web. 25 Mar. 2012
  14. Shale gas exploration bids by December 2013, says Jaipal Reddy, Feb 14, 2012 http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-02-14/news/31059276_1_shale-gas-conventional-oil-and-gas-george-p-mitchell
  15. Will China eye Arunachal Pradesh’s shale oil? SA Aiyar, 25 September 2011, Retrieved from: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Swaminomics/entry/will-china-eye-arunachal-pradesh-s-shale-oil. Web. 25 Mar. 2012

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