• AUGUST 10, 2000

Energy - Gold loses it colour

The heading might unnerve the Indian community in the fear that their favourite precious metal is losing its colour (probably the reason for the obsession). But before anyone starts liquidating we are putting a disclaimer that the heading maybe misleading. This story is in relation to oil & gas.

Over the 20th century, oil became the predominant source of energy. To indicate the importance and value of another natural resource it was given the name 'black gold'. However, yet another natural resource contender Natural Gas is challenging its reign at the top. Going forward in all likelihood it seems the colourless contender will upstage the ruler.

The global economy is moving towards being gas driven as several factors over the years have fallen into place. Although, the markets are geographically spread they are linked to the consumer through low cost pipeline networks and very large fuel carriers.

Consequently, we should see a gas driven economy emerging as the rate of growth of gas consumption outpaces other conventional sources of energy. The use of gas will help in significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. This should serve as a boon to the emerging economies as they strive to balance conflicting goals of economic growth and environmental protection.

At the forefront of making gas the preferred feedstock is the power industry. There has been a shift from using coal to liquid fuels and finally gas. This hydrocarbon is then expected to penetrate the chemical and fertiliser industry and finally make a foray into the transportation sector (compressed natural gas).

This international trend can be seen in India and is a comforting factor that we are moving in the right direction. As the economy grows one can expect the demand for this colourless gold to pick up. Sorry, the party has not yet started for gold hoarders.

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