Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Easier investment policies coming soon: Dharmendra Pradhan to global oil majors

ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Posted: June 18, 2014 1:03 am | Updated: June 18, 2014 9:41 am

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The Centre intends to bring in policies that would ease the way for large foreign investments in the oil and gas sector, said Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state (independent charge) for petroleum and natural gas at the 21st World Petroleum Congress held in Moscow, Russia.

Pradhan told a gathering of global oil and gas leaders that there is a need for facilitating increased production in India and the need to hasten the pace of domestic exploration and production. “The ministry is already in the process of bringing out amendments and new policies,” said the minister.

Inviting global oil and gas majors to invest in India, Pradhan said that the motto is “minimum government and maximum governance”.

“Creation of a policy environment, which is predictable, transparent and fair, would be a very important action,” he added.

Currently, India consumes 4.5 per cent of the world’s primary energy resources.

Pradhan hinted that India and Russia share a good relationship, which New Delhi looks to extend by working in the hydrocarbon sector.

According to sources, India is willing to pursue with Moscow about laying a pipeline to transport oil and gas. Russia has a strong network of pipelines throughout its territory. The nearest port that can connect India’s west coast with a pipeline is 2,000 km away.

It would take the same route as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to take up these issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet at the BRIC summit to be held in Brazil next month

ONGC Videsh, the overseas subsidiary of ONGC, is keen to explore blocks in the Arctic, which are in the exploration stage. The Arctic region is known to house vast oil resources. Currently, there is no production in that region.

“We would not have the operational expertise in those type of acreages. So, what we are looking at is partnership with Russian companies and an international oil company with the right kind of technology to explore these areas,” said a senior OVL official.

At the Congress, India made a presentation to global oil and gas companies that highlighted the proposed policy changes, including bringing in a uniform licensing policy to facilitate exploration and production operators to work on a single policy regime.

Cairn India gets green nod to raise output in Rajasthan field

NEW DELHI: An expert appraisal committee of the environment ministry has recommended that Vedanta Group company Cairn India be allowed to increase its crude oil output to 300,000 barrels a day from 200,000 from its Barmer block in Rajasthan. Prakash Javadekar, minister of state (independent charge) for environment would take the final decision.

The committee has set some riders for Cairn India such as it would have to upload the status of environment compliance, including results of monitored data, on its website and update it periodically, according to the ministry website.

This gives boost to the Anil Agarwal-promoted company when it looks to invest to spend $2.4 billion over the next three years.

Cairn’s flagship Barmer field touched higher continued…

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