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evnext-logo-v-smallThis post is a part of BioBiz’s Bio-CNG Perspectives.

BioBiza division of EAI, is a leading market intelligence & strategic consulting firm for the Indian bio-based sectors.


This blog post uses the terms bio-CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) interchangeably.

Bio-CNG or bio-compressed natural gas, also known as sustainable natural gas or biomethane, is a biogas which has been upgraded to a quality similar to fossil natural gas and having a methane concentration of 90% or greater. As the gas is derived from natural and renewable sources, it is also termed renewable natural gas (RNG).

Introduction

A regulatory body is a public organization or government agency that is set up to exercise a regulatory function. This involves imposing requirements, conditions or restrictions, setting the standard for activities, and enforcing in these areas or obtaining compliance. Government and regulatory bodies can play an important role in accelerating or decelerating the growth of industries. With the current growing trends towards sustainability globally, regulatory bodies are critical in determining the growth of emerging sustainable markets. This holds good for the growing RNG market and hence it is critical for entrepreneurs to know the various regulatory bodies involved in this sector and their responsibilities. 

This blog post provides a list of key regulatory bodies in the RNG and related sector and their responsibilities.

Role of ministries/departments in the biofuels sector

The role of different ministries and departments for effective implementation of biofuels programme in the country is tabulated below:

Ministry / Department Role
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
  • Overall Coordinating Ministry for development of biofuels
  • National Biofuel policy & its implementation
  • Research, Development & Demonstration on applications of biofuels
  • Marketing and Distribution of biofuels
  • Blending levels of biofuels
  • Development & Implementation of Pricing & Procurement Policy
  • Dispute redressal
  • Foster international collaboration for advance Biofuel research and Capacity Building
  • MSW to transportation fuels
Ministry of Rural Development
  • Plantation, Supply Chain activities along with Rural livelihood programmes, MGNREGA etc.
Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (Ministry of Agriculture & FW)
  • Production of plant materials through Nurseries and plantations for biofuels in coordination with other Ministries
Ministry of Environment, forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
  • Biofuel plantations in forest lands and environmental issues concerning biofuels
  • Involvement of communities in maintenance of plantations and supply chain
Ministry of Science and Technology (Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science & Technology)
  • R&D&D on various feedstocks and improvement of technologies for Biofuel development.
  • Promote innovation and cutting edge research in the Biofuel area.
  • Development of technologies for bio-refinery and value added products.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  • Encourage consumption/usage of Biofuels in transport sector
Ministry of Railways
  • Encourage consumption/usage of Biofuels
Department of Consumer Affairs (Ministry of CA, F&PD)
  • Laying down specifications, standards and codes for ensuring quality control of biofuels for end uses
Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
  • To advise Manufacturers of Equipment for making them compatible with biofuels available in the market
Ministry of New & Renewable Energy
  • To generate/produce energy through biogas including enriched biogas, RNG and bio-power etc. from biomass/urban, industrial and agricultural waste
Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
  • To coordinate with States and ULBs for the availability of MSW as an important feedstock for biofuels including municipal solid waste in urban areas for which the policies are being enunciated by this Ministry
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Department of Food & Public Distribution
  • DFPD to provide suitable financial incentives to the sugar sector for setting up of ethanol distilleries

Regulatory bodies for natural gas sector India

Ministry / Department Role
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG)
  • Exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources, including natural gas.
  • Production, supply distribution, marketing and pricing of petroleum including natural gas and petroleum products.
  • Planning, development and control of, and assistance to all industries dealt with by the MoPNG.
  • Planning, development and regulation of oilfield services.
Directorate General of Hydrocarbons
  • Monitoring upstream petroleum operations.
  • Providing technical advice to the MoPNG on issues relevant to the exploration and optimal exploitation of hydrocarbons and on the strategy of taking up exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves abroad by the national oil companies.
  • Reviewing the exploration programmes of companies operating under petroleum exploration licences.
  • Reassessing hydrocarbon reserves discovered and estimated by the operating companies.
  • Advising the government on offering acreage for exploration to companies and matters relating to relinquishment of acreage by companies.
  • Reviewing the development plans for commercial discoveries of hydrocarbon reserves proposed by operating companies and advising the government on the adequacy of the plans and the exploitation rates proposed.
  • Reviewing and auditing the management of petroleum reservoirs by operating companies and advising on any mid-course correction required to ensure sound reservoir management practices.
  • Advising the government on laying down safety norms and framing regulations on safety in oilfield operations, prescribing pollution control measures and assisting inspection and periodic safety audits.
  • Monitoring oil and gas production and royalty or any other charges or fees or levies, and where applicable, costing petroleum due to the government and obtaining necessary reports from licensees or lessees to facilitate the government to receive accurate royalties and other statutory charges by the due date.
Oil Industry Safety Directorate
  • Formulating and standardising procedures and guidelines in the areas of design, operation and maintenance and the creation of new assets with a view of achieving the highest safety standards in a cost effective manner.
  • Conducting audits to ensure compliance with standards. Maintaining continuous follow-up on compliance with the Oil Industry Safety Directorate’s audit action points.
  • Analysing and investigating incidents happening in the oil and gas industry and identifying the root cause and formulating action plans.
Directorate General of Mines Safety
  • The main responsibility is to set safety regulations in respect of onshore oil and gas mining installations
Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board
  • Protecting the interests of consumers by fostering fair trade and competition.
  • Registering entities to:
    • market notified petroleum and petroleum products and, subject to the contractual obligations of the government, natural gas;
    • establish and operate liquefied natural gas terminals; and
    • establish storage facilities for petroleum, petroleum products or natural gas exceeding the capacity specified by regulations.
  • Authorising entities to lay, build, operate or expand a common carrier or contract carrier and lay, build, operate or expand city or local natural gas distribution networks.
  • Declaring pipelines as being common carriers or contract carriers.
  • Regulating:
    • access to common carrier or contract carrier lines so as to ensure fair trade and competition among entities and specifying pipeline access codes;
    • transportation rates for common carrier or contract carrier lines; and
    • access to the city or local natural gas distribution network to ensure fair trade and competition among entities under the pipeline access code.
  • In respect of notified petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas:
    • ensuring adequate availability;
    • ensuring display of information about the maximum retail prices fixed by the entity for consumers at retail outlets;
    • monitoring prices and taking corrective measures to prevent restrictive trade practices by the entities;
    • securing equitable distribution for petroleum and petroleum products;
    • providing, by regulation, and enforcing, retail service obligations for retail outlets and marketing service obligations for entities; and
    • monitoring transportation rates and taking corrective action to prevent restrictive trade practices.
  • Laying down, by regulations, the technical standards and specifications including safety standards in activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas, including the construction and operation of pipelines and infrastructure projects relating to downstream petroleum and the natural gas sector.

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