Liquefied natural gas dispenses through pipes on-board a tanker. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Tenth Round Of City Gas Distribution Auctions By December

The tenth round of bidding in city gas distribution network auctions may start in December.

“It could happen by December or even earlier,” DK Sarraf, Chairperson of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, said on the sidelines of India Energy Forum in Delhi today.

Sarraf said the next round is under planning and some key decisions could affect timing. He said the demand for city gas will rise because it’s cheaper than petrol or diesel. “The government will continue to provide subsidised natural gas to the city gas distribution sector.”

The government is trying to expand city gas distribution networks in the country to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy basket to 15 percent from the current 6 percent over the next few years. It also wants to reduce emissions and switch to cleaner kitchen and auto fuels.

An official from the board said nearly 30-40 geographical areas will be made available in the latest round.

The winners of the ninth round were announced in September and comprised Adani Gas Ltd., Indian Oil Corp Ltd. and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd.’s arm Bharat Gas Resources Ltd. They emerged as successful bidders for licences to 84 of the 86 geographical areas that were offered in the auction.

On its own, billionaire Gautam Adani's Adani Gas was the successful bidder for 13 areas, while its joint venture with state-run Indian Oil Corp Ltd.—Indian Oil-Adani Gas Pvt Ltd.—won bids for nine areas.