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New Delhi: Given the hydrogen potential in the country, the government is looking to leverage it for transportation by mixing the fuel with natural gas, said a senior official in India’s ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

This was articulated by Amar Nath, additional secretary in the ministry, while speaking at a conference organised by industry lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

This comes in the backdrop of India working to leverage its compressed natural gas (CNG) pipeline grid and infrastructure to reduce the transportation cost for hydrogen. Also, there are plans to run buses across cities fuelled by hydrogen blended with CNG.

“Highlighting the potential of Hydrogen in the oil and gas sector, Mr Nath said that it is an element which can easily gel with natural gas in terms of transportation, usage," Ficci said in a statement.

India is also considering a proposal to make it mandatory for fertilizer plants and oil refineries to purchase green hydrogen as part of plans to cut the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“A marriage between the natural gas and hydrogen has to happen and we need to work more proactively to scale it further. This is another opportunity for the upstream companies to combine with its development," Amarnath said according to the statement.

Gas comprises about 6.2% of India’s primary energy mix, far behind the global average of 24%. The government plans to increase this share to 15% by 2030. India’s gas demand is expected to be driven by the fertilizer, power, city gas distribution, and steel sectors.

Nath also added that the government plans to make its policies attractive for upstream investors.

“We will make our policies as conducive as possible for the investors. Upstream companies have the opportunity to transform itself and contribute to the growth of the nation as well as sustainability of the climate," he added according to the statement.

This comes at a time when India’s domestic oil and gas production has been faltering. The domestic crude and oil and gas production fell by 5.22% and 8.06% respectively during April 2020 to March 2021, as compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

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