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India records highest rise in gas production worldwide.

India recorded the highest rise in natural gas output worldwide in 2009 after Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 field came into production, global energy giant BP Plc said.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-run RIL began gas production from the Krishna Godavari basin in April, 2009, and its 60 million standard cubic metres per day output led to a 75 per cent jump in natural gas availability in the country to 140 mmscmd.

"Last year, India had the highest increase in production of natural gas worldwide. And I just checked, it also had the highest corresponding increase in consumption in natural gas worldwide," BP Plc Group Chief Economist Christof Ruhl said.

The jump in natural gas production in India was possible because the government allowed private sector firms to take a lead in exploration for hydrocarbons.

"When you look at countries where gas production is heavily government controlled, like Russia, they had the biggest decline in gas production and consumption," he said.

"When you look at countries where new technologies have been developed like unconventional shale gas in the US... it was because they have an investment environment which is very competitive," he said.

Shale gas, trapped in sedimentary rocks, is said to hold the potential of doubling gas output in US.

Ruhl said that it was very clear who was left behind, as countries where natural resources were tightly controlled were less flexible.

Ruhl said the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Ambani gas dispute will help investment in the sector.

For investors, "rule of law" and "sanctity of contracts" they sign is important, he said.


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