Right from its genesis, commercial coal mining has always been dictated by the needs of the domestic consumption. Last year, India was the second largest coal consumer in the world after China, with a share of 11% in the global coal consumption. With the 5th largest proven coal reserves in the world after US, Russia, Australia & China, selection of coal as the dominant fuel in the country’s energy mix is obvious.
In contrast to the Coal Industry, the first commercial discovery of oil and natural gas in India was made in 1889 in Digboi, Assam. However, the Natural Gas Industry gained significance only in the 1970s, after the discovery of large reserves in the South Basin fields by Oil and Natural Gas Cooperation Limited (ONGC). Subsequently, the state-owned Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) was created in 1984, to promote gas use and develop midstream and downstream gas infrastructure.