India’s downstream oil and gas regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) is set to take up the role of the market regulator for the natural gas sector, when the planned natural gas trading hub comes into being, much on the lines of the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The plan for establishing a natural gas trading platform is part of a larger effort by the government to build a vibrant and transparent gas market in India. The idea is to create an ecosystem where the competing buyers would be able to buy gas from competing sellers and transport the same from gas source to the place of their requirement by getting a non-discriminatory access to the pipeline capacity. This end-to-end solution would reduce customer risk and enhance customer confidence on gas as an alternative fuel and feed.
The Government has envisaged ushering into a gas-based economy by increasing the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix of the country from current level of about 6% to 15% by 2030.
The thrust now should be on increasing the availability of natural gas by enhancing the domestic production, encouraging the import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), completion of national pipeline grid and speedier roll out of City Gas Distribution network in the country.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) was constituted under The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006.
The Act provides for the establishment of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas and to promote competitive markets and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The board has also been mandated to regulate the refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas excluding production of crude oil and natural gas so as and to ensure uninterrupted and adequate supply of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas in all parts of the country.