India’s first natural gas exchange comes online

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India launched its first natural gas exchange earlier this week. The Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) is a nationwide, online delivery-based gas trading platform for delivery of natural gas, Zee News reported.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the IEX — India’s energy market platform — IGX will allow participants to trade in standardized gas contracts. The exchange comes with a web interface and is fully automated to provide a seamless trading experience.

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The new exchange will allow buyers and sellers of natural gas to trade both in the spot market and in the forward market for imported natural gas across three hubs —Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat province, and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh province in south of India, the Indian Express reported.

Imported liquified natural gas (LNG) will be regassified and sold to buyers through the exchange, thus removing the need for buyers and sellers to find each other.

What’s more, the exchange will also permit shorter contracts for delivery on the next day and up to 30 days. Ordinarily, contracts for natural gas supply are as long as six months to a year. This, experts say, will allow buyers and sellers greater flexibility.

Inaugurating the exchange, Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas and steel, said the new trading platform was one of the biggest indicators of the Indian government’s “progressive policy” as it completed the entire energy value chain from gas production from multiple sources and imports of LNG from different parts of globe to having a transparent price mechanism.

With IGX, Pradhan indicated, India will move closer to realizing its vision with respect to mega investments in LNG terminals, gas pipelines, CGD infrastructure and permission for a market-driven price mechanism, ET Now reports.

India’s gas production has been dropping over the last two fiscal years as current sources of natural gas have become less productive. Domestically produced natural gas currently accounts for less than half India’s natural gas consumption (imported LNG accounts for the other half).

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Experts say LNG imports are set to become a larger proportion of domestic gas consumption as India moves to increase the proportion of natural gas in the energy basket from 6.2% in 2018 to 15% by 2030.

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