The US Energy Information Administration has predicted that as India’s economy grows and its demand for energy booms, natural gas will play a far larger role in the generation of that energy. Overall energy demand and consumption is expected to increase by more than 50% by 2035, and natural gas’s share of that will increase from 11 percent in 2008, to 16 percent.
Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) is very well placed to take advantage of this growth in India’s natural gas market, and in preparation Shell India will invest $1 billion to build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant off the coast of India. The new floating plant will be based at the port of Kakinada in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and will add to the capacity of the 3.6 million ton LNG import facility in Hazira to provide a boost to the amount of LNG that Shell can process in the area.
Hazira will also be expanded, and Yasmine Hilton, the head of Shell India, stated that, “by the end of the quarter, we will be able to import 5 million tons at Hazira.”
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Further plans exist to boost Hazira’s capacity to 10 million tons within in four years, and there is talks of doubling the Kakinada terminal’s capacity in the coming years.
Hilton has stated that India represents a huge potential for Shell’s gas sector, and the appropriate investments are being pursued in upstream oil and gas exploration and production. The only problem is that Shell India must compete with other departments of Shell from around the world for funding.
“Shell is investing $30 billion in new investments -- 80 percent in upstream and 20 percent in downstream. We (Shell India) have to compete for those dollars with other Shell outfits. My job is to position India to the group and get some of the funding into India.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com