Oil and gas

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) is soon likely to commence the auction of 69 marginal oil and gas fields under the new revenue- sharing model, though the timeline for the auction is yet to be finalised. These fields have combined proved reserves of 88 million tonnes of oil equivalent valued at around Rs 770 billion. The fields have been divided into 44 clusters to make them financially attractive for potential investors as they can then plan common infrastructure for fields and keep costs low.

In a bid to encourage energy partnerships in the post-sanctions period, India has signed an agreement with Iran for crude oil imports and the development of petrochemical complexes and gas fields. India has stated its intent of increasing imports from Iran from the current level of 350,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). It has also announced an investment of $20 billion towards the development of Chabahar port in southeastern Iran. India has already extended an over $100 million line of credit for berths and jetties at the port.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is planning to explore 17 shale gas and oil wells in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh at an investment of about Rs 7 billion. The exploration comprises drilling 11 exploratory wells for shale oil/shale gas in the Cambay basin in the Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, one well in the Cauvery basin at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and five wells in the Krishna- Godavari basin in the east and west Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh. These will involve investments of Rs 3.66 billion, Rs 2.17 billion and Rs 450 million respectively. The expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recommended the terms of reference for the projects.

Essar Oil Limited (EOL) is planning to increase coal-bed methane production from the RG (East)-CBM-2001/1 project to at least 1.8 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) by March 2017 from the existing 0.85 mmscmd, and scale it up further to 2.5 mmscmd by March 2018. EOL will increase its number of wells from about 300 to 363 by March 2017. So far, EOL has invested Rs 3.6 billion in developing Phases I and II of the project. Phase I entailed drilling 12 core holes and test wells along with a 120 line-km high resolution seismic survey. Phase II entailed the drilling of wells along with the construction of a gas gathering station and a 48 km long pipeline from Raniganj to Durgapur. Phase I of the project was completed in May 2009 and gas production started in January 2011, while Phase II was completed in March 2012.

Adani Gas Limited has submitted an expression of interest to the MoPNG for authorisation to lay the Dhamra-Asansol-Duttapulia liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipeline. The project comprises a 650 km pipeline network that will connect the Adani Group’s planned 1.6 million tonne (mt) LPG terminal at Dhamra port in Odisha to Asansol in West Bengal and Duttapulia near the India-Bangladesh border.

A revision in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) agreement with Qatar has helped bring down the cost of importing natural gas to less than $5 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) from $12 per mmBtu. India and Qatar agreed to slashing prices by more than half to match a slump in global energy rates. India also secured a waiver for a Rs 120 billion liability resulting from the short-lifting of gas. India, which received $15 billion worth of benefits during the first 11 years of the term contract with Qatar (beginning 2003) by way of enjoying low gas prices when world energy rates were rising, is currently paying less than $5 per mmBtu for the 7.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG it buys from RasGas of Qatar. This revision, applicable from January 1, has made LNG cheaper for end-consumers.

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