As India’s demand for natural gas increases, US policymakers and industry leaders are bracing for a rise in its domestic natural gas supply, a major US energy supplier said Tuesday.
The US Department of Energy announced in a recent filing that the United States will provide up to $100 billion in loans and other support for a project to upgrade existing and planned natural gas pipelines.
India’s growing dependence on the US natural gas market is expected to add to US dependence on its Asian neighbours.
The pipeline project would help the United State expand its domestic supply of natural gas and would be the first of its kind in the world, according to the filing.
The project will be in place by 2022, the filing said.
The project is part of an effort to meet growing global demand for energy from emerging economies, particularly India, as they look to diversify their energy sources and reduce reliance on the Middle East.
India consumes roughly half of the world’s energy.
India also exports a third of its gas, a key factor in its growing dependence.
The government is committed to improving India’s energy security and is committed in all respects to providing its energy needs to the people, said India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is attending the meeting.
India is the world leader in coal production, but the country is also the largest user of fossil fuels in the energy sector.
India is the largest importer of coal, but imports nearly half of its total energy needs.
India consumes roughly 25 percent of the energy produced in the US, according the Energy Information Administration.
Its share of US coal imports has climbed to nearly 27 percent in 2014, a rise of about 25 percent since 2008.
The State Department report on India’s natural gas needs is the first since the United Nations released a report in October that estimated India’s need for natural-gas for domestic consumption at a projected $1 trillion.
India’s energy-consumption is growing as a result of its population growth, population growth of people who have moved out of rural areas and economic growth, according Indian Energy Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.
India has more than 8 million people in the country, and its population is expected rise by 2 million this year, he said in a speech in New Delhi.
The United States has long provided energy assistance to India to help with the country’s energy needs, but it has become less involved as the US is moving towards more reliance on China, said M.V. Prakash, executive director of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, an independent think tank.
“The US has been supportive in terms of its infrastructure and its energy security.
But it has not provided energy security to India as the United Kingdom has done,” he said.
India also needs foreign help in the fight against climate change, he added.
The country has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2030 from 2005 levels, according a statement by India’s chief climate negotiator, Deepak Thakur.
India will also seek $100 million from the US for its proposed $2.5 trillion infrastructure project for power plants.
The $2 billion is part for a $3.2 billion wind project and $1.8 billion for the Indian Solar Energy Corporation’s power plants, according an official from the prime minister’s office.
The Indian government is working on building the first new nuclear plant in India, a nuclear power plant under construction at the Bhabha Atomic Power Plant, according Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India and the United Sates are the largest trading partners in China, with China accounting for nearly a third, according figures from the Commerce Ministry.
India and China have a $20 billion trade deficit, according ToE International, a research group.