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Indian Officials are laying the framework for an economy based on natural gas and fuel cells. They say they’re laying pipelines that could lead to the emergence of an economy based on natural gas, instead of oil.

India imports over 65% of its oil consumption. But Indian officials are enacting a plan that could use vast domestic reserves of natural gas to solve both problems.

Why this suddent enthusiasm for natural gas? The EIA says that India had 38 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves as of January 2009. (In 2007, India produced just 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and used 1.5 trillion cubic feet from imports.) Now there are reports that the potential reserves are even larger: India has the potential to source at least 200 trillion cubic feet of gas from its East Coast alone.

You can now see why this sudden interest in NG and fuel cells (presumably using the hydrogen from NG) has cropped up. I am only wondering how reliable the new estimate of 200 tcf natural gas is. If it is indeed true, we are indeed looking at a huge upside in using NG.

News credits – Business Standard