India as a nation does not have a very well developed domestic natural gas pipeline infrastructure as of present day, in comparison to some of the developed nations across the globe. The natural gas supply has seen a declination since 2004, but it is picking up fast with exploration work being carried out across the county. So the domestic natural gas pipeline grid is spreading fast in order to meet the demand in India. Excluding the city gas distribution network the domestic natural gas pipeline mesh is almost 10800 km long. With the city natural gas distribution network around, the length may be close to 13000 km. The design capacity of the domestic natural gas pipelines can be close to 334 Million Metric Standard Cubic metre per day ( mmscmd). Expansion plans are being prepared in order to ensure availability of natural gas all across the country uniformly for social and economic progress.
Infrastructure: The large chunk of domestic natural gas pipeline infrastructure is owned by Gas India Ltd. (GAIL). At present the company alone owns and operates high pressure natural gas pipelines for a length of 10972 kms. Still another 5026 kms length network of gas pipelines is to be developed by the company. The transmission capacity of the existing network of high pressure natural gas is more than 160 (mmscmd). Till date the longest domestic natural gas pipeline length is found to be 3750 km. This is the Hazira-Vijaipur- Jagdishpur (HVJ) pipeline. This operates at 100% capacity. But unfortunately this long network has not been successful in meeting the increasing gas supplies from Krishna Godavari (KG) basin. The D6 Block has been responsible for a good amount of production from the KG basin rendering the above network incapable with no free capacity to meet the increasing supply. Apart from that, India’s overall RLNG ( Re Gasified Liquid Natural Gas) capacity increment is also one of the reasons for the above incapability. GAIL has sincerely worked to overcome this problem and tried expanding and upgrading its pipeline network.
The other players who contribute in the domestic natural gas pipeline network are Gujarat State Petronet Ltd. (GSPL), Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Limited (RGTIL) and a small part of network of gas pipelines are owned by Gujarat Gas Company Ltd (GGCL) and Assam Gas Company Ltd (AGCL). In spite of increase in domestic natural gas pipelines, the current infrastructure is not enough to channelize the gas to various demand centres spread across the country uniformly yet. There are still states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Assam which enjoy the benefits of natural gas transmission due to their proximity to natural gas reserves, while other states are still lagging behind in getting a smooth supply of natural gas.
Future plans for building TAPI natural gas pipeline network
During November 14, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister of State for Petroleum went to Turkmenistan to attend the 19th Steering Committee meeting of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project. The 1800 km TAPI natural gas pipeline will be a project where the above four countries will establish a company that will own, build and operate the gas pipeline structure. The four companies that will own equal shares of the new company that is to be formed are Turkmengas from Turkmenistan, Afghan Gas Enterprise from Afghanistan, Inter State Gas Systems from Pakistan and GAIL from India. The ambitious project aims at exporting up to 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year from Turkmenistan to the consecutive countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India for a period of over 30 years