Forum proposed for cooperation in natural gas in Asia


New Delhi : A forum has been proposed to forge cooperation among Asian countries in the area of natural gas to ensure a smoother transition into this relatively cleaner energy source.

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“I believe that the potential of an economically integrated Asia is immense and there is no better time than now to drive an initiative for regional cooperation in energy trade and investment,” said Gas Authority of India (GAIL) chairman U.D. Choubey.

“We must all work together to make this happen, for the benefit and prosperity of the region and its main trading partners,” the GAIL chief told the fifth Asia Gas Partnership Summit here Monday.

“It will take cooperative effort by the governments, public and private sector, lenders and investors, international financial institutions and various other agencies,” he added.

He said the formation of the gas cooperation forum among Asian countries on the basis of trade, investment and technology will help smooth transition to gas-based economic development and provide a strong foundation on energy ties.

Chaubey said energy security would provide the much-needed impetus to inclusive growth by disseminating its benefits to the average citizen, and added that gas-based industries had the lowest greenhouse gas emissions among fossil fuels.

“Natural gas is both economically and environmentally attractive,” he said.

He said Asia today accounted for 70 percent of the total liquefied natural gas trade with nine percent of primary energy consumption in India accounted for by natural gas.

“By 2020, China and India alone could account for more than 17 percent of the world’s natural gas consumption,” he said and added that spiralling oil prices and the uncertainty on pricing were helping shape the gas markets.