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India’s heart line to growth: Part 1

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In order to meet fast growing demand and increase the availability of clean energy, India is seeking to expand the volume of gas supplied and extend gas consumption to new areas of the country. Gas pipeline projects totalling over 5000 km have been tendered since the start of 2014, while proposals to build more gas transmission schemes have been submitted for government approval.

Recent pipeline tenders

Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL), one of India’s leading gas transmission companies, plans to build a national gas grid that will eventually serve eight states and operate as an open carrier backbone system.

GSPL India Gasnet Limited (GIGL) recently announced the start of tendering for the 2460 km Mehsana-Bhatinda-Srinagar-Jammu pipeline project that will increase gas supplies in western and northern India. The 42 in. dia. pipeline will consist of two sections that will supply various industrial consumers and city gas distribution networks.

The new pipeline will carry LNG imported through Dahej and Hazira receiving terminals, and through Mundra LNG terminal which is expected to be commissioned in 2016.

As lead partner GSPL has a 52% stake in joint venture company GIGL, while state-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has a 26% stake. State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) each have an 11% share in GIGL.

The start of tendering for the GIGL Mehsana-Bhatinda-Srinagar-Jammu pipeline follows news that tendering has started for the GSPL India Transco Limited (GITL) Mallavaram-Bhopal-Bhilwara pipeline, which will also increase gas supplies in northern India.

Shareholdings in joint venture company GITL are the same as for GIGL, with GSPL as lead partner. The 1600 km pipeline will run 830 km from Mallavaram in Andhra Pradesh to the state boundary with Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh states.

From the state boundary point, the pipeline will run a further 870 km continuing through Madhya Pradesh to Bhilwara in Rajasthan state.

The GSPL-led projects are among nine gas pipeline schemes due to be completed during the next four to five years. Building these projects will increase India’s gas transmission network from around 13 000 km in length with a total designed capacity of about 337 million m3/d at present to about 28 000 km with a designed capacity of around 721 million m3/d by 2019, according to India’s Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

GSPL’s new pipeline schemes will boost the company’s total gas transmission line network to around 6000 km in length when completed. However, India’s largest gas transmission operator will remain GAIL India. GAIL’s 3750 km Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline is India’s longest natural gas pipeline and currently operates at 100% capacity.

GAIL is responsible for six of India’s nine ongoing natural gas pipeline projects: the 886 km Dadri-Bawana-Nangal pipeline, the 445 km Chhainsa-Jhajjar-Hisar scheme, the 1410 km Dabhol-Bangalore pipeline, the 155 km Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore transmission scheme, the 1860 km Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline and the 1825 km Surat-Paradip transmission project.

In addition to natural transmission pipelines, GAIL owns a 2040 km LPG transmission system designed to carry 3.8 million tpy from Jamnagar to the capital, New Delhi, a distance of 1415 km; also, a 625 km LPG pipeline running from Visaka Putnam to Bijawallah. The two pipelines are estimated to carry approximately 25% of all LPG consumed in India.

Other major natural gas pipelines in service include GSPL’s 1950 km Gujarat state gas grid.

In addition, Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd’s 1460 km East-West pipeline running from Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh to Ahmedabad in Gujarat carries most of the gas output from parent company Reliance Industries’ offshore KG-D6 field in the Krishna Godavari Basin from landfall on India’s east coast to supply customers in western India.

Gas consumption in India

Natural gas demand is expected grow three fold over the next 15 years in India. However, the government forecasts that the gas demand supply gap will also grow by about three fold during the same period as efforts continue to increase gas supplies to catch up with demand growth.

According to PNRGB figures, natural gas consumption in India was about 130 million m3/d in 2013. Domestic natural gas production accounted for two thirds of total natural gas consumption, while the rest of the gas consumed was imported LNG.

Power stations and fertiliser production are the two largest consumers of gas at present, followed some way behind by compressed natural gas (CNG) used as vehicle fuel and natural gas use by oil refineries.

Use of gas for CNG was 14 million m3/d, representing 11% of total natural gas consumption, while refineries’ use was 11 million m3/d, accounting for 8% of total consumption.

In addition to power stations and fertiliser factories being the main consumers of piped natural gas, India’s gas market is also characterised by the western and northern geographical regions accounting almost 80% of total national gas consumption.

Gujarat and Maharashtra states in western India have 40% of the country’s gas pipeline network and account for 53% of national gas consumption while Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and the capital, Delhi, in northern India have 20% of the India’s gas pipeline grid and account for a 26% share of national gas consumption.

The other major gas consuming region is southern India, which has 16% of the country’s gas pipeline network and accounts for 14% of national gas consumption.

Western and northern India’s growth as the country’s two major gas consuming regions has been supported by the construction of long distance gas transmission networks supplying locally produced gas and imported LNG to customers in these regions.

Part 2 of this article can be reached here.

The full article can be found in the July 2014 issue of World Pipelines.

Written by David Hayes. 

Edited by Hannah Priestley-Eaton

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