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Healthy growth expected for natural gas sector in India in 2022

India, an important constituent of the global energy market, is the 3rd-largest consumer of primary energy across the globe, The consumption of natural gas in India is expected to increase by 25 billion cubic metres till 2024 at an average annual growth of 9 %

Healthy growth expected for natural gas sector in India in 2022

New Delhi, December 28 - Neftegaz.RU. The growth prospects for the natural gas industry in India are looking up in the coming year on the back of healthy demand and favourable cost economics of projects, rating agency ICRA said.

Domestic gas consumption, which had witnessing a slight moderation in 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is now expected to grow by 9-11 % in the current fiscal.

This growth would be driven by demand revival, post easing of lockdown measures, increasing offtake by City Gas Distribution entities, expansion in pipeline network, new LNG terminals and commissioning of new fertiliser plants.
ICRA said in a statement:
  • Further, despite the increase in gas prices, the cost economics remain favourable for CNG and PNG (domestic) compared to alternate fuels, although the competitive intensity is higher in case of industrial fuels
It added that despite large debt-funded capex expected over the next few years, the credit profile of the incumbents in the sector is expected to remain healthy, supported by regulatory protection or dominant competitive position of most of the entities in this sector, besides healthy margins, liquidity and strong financial flexibility.

Also, the upstream oil & gas industry has benefitted from increasing demand and crude oil prices touching multi-year highs in the current fiscal which translated into healthy profitability and cash flow generation for companies.

Oil prices are expected to remain elevated in the medium term owing to increasing demand and graded increments in the production and supply by OPEC+ which will continue to support the revenues and profitability of the upstream oil & gas companies.
The agency said:
  • The domestic gas prices have also witnessed an increase and it is expected that the domestic gas prices will go up further in the next round of revision, which would also support the profitability of the oil & gas companies
On the refining and marketing side of the business, the demand for petroleum products is witnessing an increasing trend after subsiding during the March-April 2021 period due to the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to grow by 8-10 % in 2021-22.

The core gross refinery margins of refiners were weak in the initial few months of 2021-22 but have improved sharply with increasing demand amid limited supplies and permanent closure of refining capacities in high-cost locations.

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