India’s LPG import dependence jumped to 64% in 2022-23 from 49% six years earlier as cooking gas consumption expanded 32% while domestic production went up only 14%, according to the petroleum and natural gas ministry data.
Industry executives say the import dependence curve may soon plateau as local demand is unlikely to increase much in the years to come, with no significant customer addition expected and a big section of the existing customer base likely to shift to piped natural gas (PNG).
India’s domestic LPG customer base has more than doubled in a decade to 314 million and very few households are left without a gas connection thanks to an aggressive campaign by the government.
New customers, many of whom are from the economically weaker sections of society, however, consume far less gas on average than the economically better-off customers. With income growth, their consumption is likely to increase, which can push up the overall demand.But that may get offset by the ambitious government plan to take piped natural gas (PNG) to homes across the country, said an industry executive. The government has awarded licences for PNG distribution to most parts of the country and is making available cheaper domestic natural gas for use in kitchens.