India Launches First Gas Exchange Digital Trading Platform

Jun 19, 2020

by ASME.org

Last week, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan, announced the launch of the India Gas Exchange (IGX). IGX is the country’s first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform for natural gas. It is expected to “facilitate transparent price discovery in natural gas and facilitate the growth of the share of the natural gas in India’s energy basket” from 6.2 percent in 2018 to 15 percent by 2030, as natural gas imports are set to become a larger portion of domestic gas consumption.
 
The platform is running through a venture with the broader India Energy Exchange (IEX), India’s largest energy exchange which provides a nationwide, automated system for the trading and physical delivery of electricity, and renewable and energy saving certificates. IEX seeks to enable efficient price discovery and increase the accessibility and transparency India’s power market.
 
According to Pradhan, the gas exchange, IGX, will play a major role in realizing a free market for gas as there will be a market-driven pricing mechanism and will help to materialize India’s vision on mega investments on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminals, gas pipelines, and City Gas Distribution (CGD) infrastructure. As reference, the Indian government plans to construct CGD networks to connect 10 million households with petroleum and natural gas in nearly 150 cities. More broadly, India was expected, as of last year, to invest nearly $26 billion USD in oil and gas pipelines, oil recovery and the CGD networks by 2025.
 
IGX will run through a fully automated web-based interface that will provide “a seamless trading experience.” The digital trading platform will allow buyers and sellers of natural gas to trade in both the spot market and in the forward market for imported natural gas across three hubs. The digital interface also allows for a more conducive way for the buying and selling of LNG. IGX will remove the requirement that buyers and sellers must find each other and, instead, LNG will be “regassified” and sold to buyers through the exchange.
 
Although IGX will help Indian gas producers gain entry into the free market, domestically produced natural gas will not be sold on the exchange as those prices are decided by the government. Pradhan announced, however, that a new gas policy will include reforms in domestic gas pricing and will move toward more market-orientated pricing. IGX is also projected to offer more flexibility by allowing for varied contract periods.
 
To learn more about IGX, please visit https://www.igxindia.com/, or reach out to Aaron Weinerman, Manager, Global Public Affairs, at WeinermanA@asme.org.

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