The U.S.-Asia Gas Partnership (AGP) is a public-private partnership that aims to optimize gas network infrastructure planning and develop domestic gas markets across the Indo-Pacific region. AGP shares best practices in the development of secure, reliable, and economic sources of natural gas. AGP convenes a diverse set of stakeholders to optimize gas network infrastructure planning to develop domestic gas markets in Asia. AGP also supports strategic planning to promote the development of resilient and least-cost power systems that will continue to meet demand over time.

With a long-term vision to enable the creation of a regional gas market, AGP facilitates a shared understanding between government officials and the private sector about the technical, commercial, and economic factors that spur investment. To this end, as part of an ongoing webinar series on the innovative development of LNG markets in South and Southeast Asia, USEA, ICF and USAID’s South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH) are jointly conducting a webinar on the “Role of Transmission System Operator in Gas in India - Learnings from Global Perspective” on March 18, 2021.

In this webinar, we will share insights on the role of transmission system operators (TSOs) in managing pipeline capacity and how India can adapt lessons from overseas’ sectors to India’s existing gas market structure. Panelists will discuss different models for adoption of a TSO (ownership unbundling, independent system operator, transmission system operator, etc.), the challenges, and the stringent regulations that may be needed for implementation of these models. Esteemed panelists will share their views on the Indian gas market structure and how the appointment of a TSO can help bring in transparency in operation as a step towards market liberalization.


Earlier on February 1st, 2021, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Annual Budget that the Indian Government is looking to appoint an independent Transmission System Operator (TSO) to manage the common carrier capacities of all the natural gas pipelines operating in India. This announcement has set a positive tone towards enabling reforms and transparent allocation of open access capacities in the natural gas pipelines.

Unlike other developed gas economies, in India the volume risk for developing a pipeline remains with the developer. Shippers need to enter contracts with these developers either on a contract carriage (for a duration of minimum one year) or on a common carriage basis. At present, each pipeline operator manages its own portal to seek requests for open access capacities from different shippers. Therefore, the Indian Government has felt the need to appoint an independent TSO to manage such open access capacities.