New Delhi: A Parliamentary standing committee has expressed fear that India could witness acute shortage of natural gas in two years, which may not be met even through imports due to lack of infrastructure.
"As the government pursued the economic policy to achieve high growth, the demand for natural gas has also sharply increased in India during the past few years, and is expected to escalate further," said the Parliamentary standing committee on petroleum and natural gas in a report.
"As during 2012-13 there was only 134 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas available including the imported LNG against the demand of 286 mmscmd. Thus there was huge unmet demand of 152 mmscmd," it said.
It said that in 2015-16, the expected gap would be to the tune of 300 mmscmd. "As against the demand of 439 mmscmd, the available gas supply would be 139 mmscmd only.
The chunk of this rising supply deficit is expected to be met through LNG imports from different countries. How-ever, the present LNG terminal, whose capacity is just 53 mmscmd, cannot support the increased purchase of LNG," said the committee.
Though the LNG infrastructure is expected to grow to 180 mmscmd by 2016-17, it would still not be sufficient to cater to the increasing LNG import in the coming years, said the committee.
"The (petroleum) ministry should prepare a blue print to improve the production and supply of natural gas in the country so that there is no deficit in meeting the domestic demand," it said.
It asked the ministry to increase the blocks awarded for exploration and intensify activities for exploration and production of shale gas.