HPCL-ONGC deal to lead to mega projects, consolidation in oil & gas sector

Source: Business Standard, July 20, 2017

The Union Cabinet has approved the plan to sell the government’s 51 per cent stake in state-refiner HPCL to explorer ONGC.

For the government and economy, this move has multiple benefits. This single deal alone would fetch about 41 per cent of the total divestment target of Rs 72,500 crore, assuming that the deal happens at HPCL’s current market cap of Rs 58,500 crore. Though the management control would stay with the government through ONGC, in which it holds a 68.07 per cent stake, technically, the government’s hold over HPCL would be reduced from 51.11 per cent to 35 per cent (68.07% of 51.11%) effectively.

This consolidation could facilitate mega-refinery projects in the country – joining hands for mega oil & gas projects becomes a time-consuming process for independent entities. There were a few mega-project proposals jointly announced by independent PSUs in the past but most of them never took off. This move also paves the way for more consolidations and stake sales in the oil & gas sector.

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Oil prices rise in Asia in expectation of Aramco supply cut

download (2)Source : Financial Express 10 May 2017

Oil futures rose in Asian trading on Wednesday after Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia would cut supplies to the region as OPEC battles against rising U.S. production that is threatening to derail its attempts to end a sustained global glut in crude. State-owned Saudi Aramco will reduce oil supplies to Asian customers by about 7 million barrels in June, a source told Reuters, as part of OPEC’s agreement to reduce production and as it trims exports to meet rising domestic demand for power during the summer.

Seven million barrels is roughly two days worth of oil imports into Japan, the world’s fourth biggest importer. Aramco had previously been maintaining supplies to its important Asian customers. Global benchmark Brent futures were up 25 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $48.98 a barrel at 0028 GMT. On Tuesday they fell 1.2 percent.

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Modi’s push to make kitchens safer makes India no. 2 LPG importer

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 24, 2017

Mumbai/New Delhi: India toppled Japan as the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to provide cooking gas cylinders to the poor and wean them off polluting fuels, drove up consumption.

Imports of LPG, mostly used as cooking fuel, soared 23% during the financial year that ended 31 March to 11 million tonnes, according to data from oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell. Japan’s imports slipped 3.2% during the same period to 10.6 million tonnes, according to its finance ministry. China remains the world’s top importer.

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Shell India, Bharat Petroleum may tie up for Singapore energy trading

Source: LiveMint.com, Mar 30, 2017

Mumbai: Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s India unit and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL), the country’s second largest fuel retailer, may team up to help the latter set up an energy trading unit in Singapore, two officials aware of the development said.

A Singapore office has been in the works for BPCL to expand its global reach and participate in trading of crude oil, natural gas and energy derivatives, the two said on condition of anonymity.

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Cabinet clears policy for extension of oil & gas contracts

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 23, 2017

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet has approved a new policy to allow transparent extension of oil and gas contracts for companies that agree to increase the state’s share of profit by 10% — a move that raises government’s revenue and allows companies like Vedanta-controlled Cairn India to plan future investments.

This is expected to encourage investment of $5.4 billion to extract 426 million barrels, the government said after a late-evening meeting of the Cabinet, which also approved amendments to tax laws to abolish cesses and surcharges to facilitate goods and services tax (GST), made the provision of the funds for startups more user friendly, and sanctioned raising of NABARD’s authorised capital.

The new policy for oil and gas would apply to contracts that predate the New Exploration Licensing Policy of 1999. This includes Cairn India which has a 25-year contract for RJ-ON-90/1that expires in May 2020. The contract provides for a mutually-agreed 10-year extension if gas is being produced commercially. Commercial production of gas from the field commenced in 2013.

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GAIL to invest Rs 1,750 cr on gas distribution network

index.pngSource: Business Standard, Mar 15, 2017

Bhubneshwar: State-run gas company GAIL (India) Ltd has committed an investment of Rs 1,750 crore to build a City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Of the envisaged investment, Rs 1,000 crore would be spent on Bhubaneswar while the remaining Rs 750 crore has been set aside for Cuttack. Gas distribution to households in the twin-city region is expected to be a reality by December 2019 or early 2020.

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India imports petrol, diesel from China

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Mar 15, 2017

NEW DELHI: India has perhaps for the first time imported petrol and diesel from China as the world’s third largest oil consumer looks at diversifying its sources of fuel. India imported 18,000 tonnes of petrol and 39,000 tonnes of diesel in the first nine months of the current fiscal, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

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