Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Five major gas market players of the near future:Iran ,Qatar,Pakistan,india and China

One-third of the world gas resources lie trapped and quite under-utilised in Iran and Qatar,while in the region Pakistan,India and China can consume all the two countries have to offer.Easier said than done.Reportedly Saudis are not prepared to give passage to Qatari gas pipelines through their territory and there is an intervening ocean in the way.Dolphin pipeline(under-sea) connecting Qatar and pakisatn and India have been proposed earlier and remain dormant till todate.TAPI and IPI pipelines have been proposed.IPI has been reduced to Iran and Pakistan only project.There are parallel projects planned for gas supplies to China from Iran.The gas is in the South and the demand also in the South.

Possibly low gas prices have prevented project investments.India withdrew from IPI due to the high gas prices demanded by Iran and also perhaps due to political duplicity.Pakistan agreed because it badly needed gas.The long term future of fossil sources including gas does not appear very bright,if one studies the forecast of Solar energy carefully.It is no use safe-keeping the gas for future and hoping for very high prices.That is why Russian and the U>S> companies keep producing.It is vital that gas producing countries of the region adopt a more realistic and market friendly attitude.Demand of unrealistically high prices is hindering the regional market development.A good market price may be a sufficient incentive to counter and even resist the U.S. political pressure for isolating Iran.India can be lured back,if the price is right.

Buying countries may also have to liberalize their domestic gas markets allowing free access and pricing of imported gas.A common market framework may have to be developed wherein consumer pays for the gas and investments made by the supplying counties and companies,not in their own countries but possibly in the consumer countries as well.One can visualize an Iranian gas company selling in Pakistan market directly to the large consumers, utilizing the local distribution network.In a separate we have proposed opening up the gas sector,which may encourage significant,if not massive,investments in pipe-lines by countries like Iran and possibly by Qatar.India joining the market network would make things very attractive for the supplier countries investments.

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