Mansingh wants national â€کGas Management Centre'

Vol 12, PW 6 (07 Aug 08) People & Policy

Gas and downstream regulator Labanyendu Mansingh has ambitious plans for the country’s gas sector.

PETROWATCH learns the office of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board is examining ways of setting up a national Gas Management Centre to streamline and resolve supply and connectivity issues stemming from the co-existence of different sources and cross-country pipelines feeding the domestic gas market. In mid-July, we hear, the Board commissioned state-owned consultancy MECON to submit a report within four months on what India can learn from other countries and how they oversee and manage their gas markets.

Once submitted, the Board will publish the MECON report on its website and invite industry comments on the best way forward. “One focus area will be how to adopt a uniform formula to determine the capacity of common and contract carrier pipelines so there’s no dispute when the pipeline owner claims he has no more capacity,â€‌ Mansingh tells us.

“Globally four or five formulas are in existence to determine this and we want to adopt one that’s best suited to our conditions.â€‌ Other areas to be examined by MECON will be the highly contentious issue of using gas pipelines to store gas – which the Board plans to outlaw in India.

During a fact-finding tour of Gujarat’s LNG and gas installations on July 20 and 21, several companies told Mansingh they are waiting for the Board to take the lead in better managing the gas supply and distribution situation. “Our vision is to develop a national gas grid and a national gas market in India,â€‌ adds Mansingh.

“When gas pipelines criss-cross each other and connect up how do we regulate the gas flowing through them before they reach the ultimate consumer There are also issues concerning excessive withdrawal of gas and a fall in pressure.â€‌ According to Mansingh, south Gujarat is the ideal place to study these issues, especially at the Mora gas hub, which receives gas from at least five different sources at different prices and pressures before reaching consumers.