India seeks to build strategic reserves by storing gas in depleted wells – GAIL exec

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is looking at building its first strategic natural gas reserves by using old, depleted hydrocarbon wells to store the fuel and hedge against global supply disruption, a senior executive of natural gas company GAIL (India) Ltd said on Friday.

The strategic facilities would be built in phases in India’s western and northeastern regions with an initial capacity to store three to four billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, Sumit Kishore, an executive director at GAIL, told reporters at an industry event.

India has five million tonnes of strategic petroleum reserves but no storage facilities for natural gas. Indian companies together currently hold two bcm of gas in pipelines and liquefied natural gas tanks for commercial use.

Kishore said the first strategic gas storage facility would take three to four years to build after government approval.

India aims to raise the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from about 6.2% now. The nation consumes around 60 bcm gas annually.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Writing by Shivam Patel; editing by Miral Fahmy)