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Economic Survey 2012-13 suggested government to take measures to boost natural gas output in the country.
It may be noted that the average natural gas production in 2011-12 declined 1 percent to 130 million metric standard cubic metre per day from the previous year owing to lesser production from the KG–D6 basin.
As on March 2011, India's estimated natural gas reserves were 1,241 billion cubic metre as per petroleum ministry estimates.
If gas out has to be increased, there is a need to bring about change in pricing and exploration contract policies in order to attract more private investment.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in oil and gas exploration have taken a hit owing to persisting global risks and depressed business sentiments. FDI in petroleum and gas have dipped by 89 per cent during April-November this financial year against 68 per cent decline in the power sector.
Currently, the operators are free to sell gas produced from blocks given to them under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) with their pricing subject to government vetting.
But producers like Reliance Industries, Cairn and ONGC want better price realisation for their output as the present method yields a lower than global price.
The petroleum ministry is planning to take a proposal for increasing the price of locally produced natural gas to $8-8.5 per mmBtu.