|PM Manmohan Singh in New Delhi|
8th Asia Gas Partnership Summit (AGPS) on Tuesday, where Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh dedicated to the nation GAIL's 1,000-km-long natural gas pipeline from Dabhol in Maharashtra to Bangaluru in Karnataka.
The Dabhol – Bangaluru pipeline has connected South India to the national gas grid for the first time. The project has cost Rs 4,500 crore with a design capacity of 16 MMSCMD of natural gas which can produce 3,000 MW of clean energy.
The pipeline passes through Belgaum, Dharwad, Gadag, Bellary, Devanagere, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Ramanagaram, Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban districts. The pipeline traverses through 18 national highways, 382 other road crossings, 20 railway crossings, 83 cased crossings, 11 major river crossings and 276 water body crossings including Asia’s largest river crossing in rocky terrain at Ghatprabha in Karnataka.
The construction operations which continued round-the-clock for 19 months involved pipeline laying in some of the world’s steepest slopes of 60 to 70 degrees and sharp elevations of upto700 metres in a 3.5 km stretch, says a GAIL press release.
Speaking on the changing energy scenario in the world, the prime minister said the discovery of shale gas had brought about a “sea change” in this context and India was hopeful of discovering shale gas reserves.
“India needs to increase its energy supply by 3 to 4 times within next two decades. It currently ranks as the world’s seventh largest energy producer, accounting for just about 2.5 percent of the world’s total annual energy production, while it is the 4th largest energy consumer. With oil and gas constituting around 41 percent of India’s primary energy consumption, India is expected to be the 3rd largest energy consumer by the year 2020."
Singh said, “To bridge this gap between supply and demand, we are encouraging domestic and global companies to explore our onshore and offshore regions."
India is also progressively pursuing other options to achieve energy security. One of these is the acquisition of energy assets in other countries. These will not only help us in securing new supplies of energy but also in acquisition of the latest technological know-how, he said.
The dedication ceremony took place during the inaugural session of the 8th AGPS which is Asia’s premier natural gas event. Organized by GAIL and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the summit brought together a host of industry leaders from across the globe and over 46 speakers from 16 countries and more than 800 delegates participated in the meet.
Meanwhile, GAIL has said it is discussing with Ophir Energy PLC for a stake in the latter’s offshore gas blocks in Tanzania.
GAIL said the talks would not be affected by Ophir’s 20 percent stake-sale deal with Singapore-based Pavilion Energy last month.