Energy Security Current Affairs

India to host steering committee meeting of TAPI gas pipeline

India is going to host the next steering committee meeting of the proposed 1,814 kilometre-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Decision in this regard was taken at the sixth joint India-Turkmenistan Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

The IGC discussions between both countries comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and took stock of the progress achieved in the areas of energy, security cooperation, civil aviation, information technology, science and technology, trade and economic cooperation, transport and connectivity, cultural and educational matters.

About Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline

TAPI gas pipeline project or Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is a proposed trans-country natural gas pipeline developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The pipeline first proposed in 1995 will transport natural gas from energy rich Caspian Sea (Galkynysh gasfields: fourth largest in the world) in Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan into Pakistan. Construction on the project started in Turkmenistan on December 2015. It is expected to be operational by 2019.

The project will supply both India and Pakistan about 38 mmscmd of natural gas whereas Afghanistan will get 14 mmscmd supply. The life of supply is expected to last for period of 30 years and shall be operational from 2019. Member countries of the project have recommended establishing an inter-government joint security task force (JSTF) to serve as the nucleus of the safety of the pipeline.

Comment

TAPI gas pipeline project is considered as an important initiative of these four countries as it connects energy rich Central Asia with energy starved South Asia. It will enhance economic engagement through regional connectivity by economically integrating region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea. It will not just be a commercial project, but also help in providing peace and security in the region.

From India’s perspective, TAPI Project will provide an alternative supply source of gas with dependable reserves leading to enhanced energy security. It will further diversify the fuel basket to the benefit of Indian economy as it would be used mainly in power, fertilizer and city gas sectors.

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First meeting of Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council held in New Delhi

The first meeting of the newly formed Integrated Monitoring and Advisory Council (IMAC) was held in New Delhi.  It was chaired by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

IMAC is an inter-ministry monitoring and advisory body for policy formulation and implementation of ‘Roadmap to achieve target of 10% reduction in import dependency in oil and gas by 2021-22.

Key Highlights of 1st IMAC meeting

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas highlighted major policy initiatives undertaken in recent past to enhance domestic production of oil and gas. It includes measures like resource re-assessment, Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), National Data Repository (NDR), Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), Discovered Small Field Policy, tapping unconventional sources such as Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane (CBM), enhancing production of bio-diesel and increased use of PNG and LPG.

Officials of other ministries also explained policies, schemes and projects taken towards augmenting the supply of energy, energy saving and demand substitution/reduction through alternate modes. Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway highlighted measures undertaken such as e-tolling to cut waiting time at toll plazas and notification of fuel efficiency norms for LCV. Ministry of Rural Development stressed upon its bio-fuel scheme for rural sector.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) elaborated on energy generation through renewable sources such as solar and wind power and their future strategy in this regard. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) pointed out measures for industrial and transport sectors.

It stressed on the importance of concerted and coordinated efforts for promoting conservation and energy efficiency, exploring opportunities for oil demand substitution and tapping the potential of bio-fuels in more aggressive and synchronised manner.

About IMAC

IMAC has been envisaged to facilitate better coordination and comprehensive strategy for all energy resources by focusing on supply and demand side management. It consists of Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas and officers from ministries of new and renewable energy (MRNE), road and transport, agriculture, urban development, power, rural development and finance.

Note: The target to cut India’s reliance on imports for meeting its oil needs by 10% to 67% by 2022 was set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 during Urja Sangam.

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