Highway projects worth Rs 6.45 L cr for 61,164 km underway: Govt

Source: Financial Express, Jul 31, 2018

Highway projects worth Rs 6.45 lakh crore for the development of 61,164 km are currently underway in the country, Parliament was informed today.

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“Projects amounting to Rs 6.45 lakh crore having length of 61,164 km are ongoing for the development of National Highways in the country,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Mansukh L Mandaviya told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.The number of projects stands at 1,837 and these are regularly reviewed at the headquarters, he said“At present, 295 number of major projects are expected to get completed by the end of March 2019,” he added.

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India offers incentives to state-owned oil and gas firms

Source: IBEF.org, Jul 20, 2018

Mumbai: Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd and Oil India Ltd will pay royalty and cess tax only to the extent of their equity holding in oil and gas blocks given to them before 1999, Mr Dharmendra Prasad, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, said on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. This is said to be a great incentive for the two state-owned companies to invest in production growth of blocks. The companies had to pay 100 royalty and cess tax under the earlier production sharing contract.

The government of India has also extended the time period given to oil and gas companies to develop hydrocarbon blocks in the north eastern part of India. Production from these blocks will be linked to market prices of natural gas, according to Mr Dharmendra Pradhan. The government has also decided to give tax exemption on capital spending on oil and gas blocks given before 1999.

Govt readies to reduce oil imports from Iran to zero

Source: Business Standard, Jun 29, 2018

New Delhi: India’s oil ministry has asked refiners to prepare for a ‘drastic reduction or zero’ imports of Iranian oil from November, two industry sources said, the first sign that New Delhi is responding to a push by the United States to cut trade ties with Iran.

India has said it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States, and instead follows UN sanctions.

But the industry sources said India, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, will be forced to take action to protect its exposure to the US financial system.

India’s oil ministry held a meeting with refiners on Thursday, urging them to scout for alternatives to Iranian oil, the sources said.

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Private investment plans in India’s strategic oil reserves get Cabinet nod

Source: Business Standard, Jun 28, 2018

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to bring in private investments for building the next phase of strategic crude oil reserves of around 6.5 million tonnes at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka.

The strategic petroleum reserves facilities at Chandikhol and Padur will be underground rock-caverns and will have capacities to the tune of 4 MT and 2.5 MT respectively. This comes two days after Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation (Adnoc) expressed its interest of having space in Padur reserves. The move is likely to bring in investments from domestic private sector players like Reliance Industries (RIL) and Essar Oil.

“The cost of the projects will be decided after the engineering studies and factoring in land acquisition costs,” said finance minister Piyush Goyal, addressing the media on Wednesday. In February, Business Standard had reported that some Indian private refiners are in talks with Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) to grab a stake in their upcoming projects and a Cabinet clearance is expected soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Saudi Aramco, Adnoc to join hands for petroleum retail in India

Source: Business Standard, Jun 25, 2018

New Delhi: Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, and UAE’s national oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) are in talks to jointly foray into the retail petroleum and marketing businesses in India.

On Monday, Adnoc also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the country’s big three oil marketing firms — Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BPC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC) — to be a part of the Rs 3 trillion-West Coast refinery and petrochemicals project in Maharashtra.

Both the foreign companies will jointly hold 50 per cent in the proposed refinery, while the Indian trio will hold the remaining stake. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt may award contracts for first OALP oil and gas field auction in July

Source: Business Standard, June 25, 2018

New Delhi: The government is likely to award contracts for the first round of oil and gas auctions under its Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) in the first week of July.

Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta, Oil India (OIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) would be getting blocks. During the round, Vedanta managed to take 40 of the 55 on offer; OIL and ONGC got the remaining blocks. ONGC, despite bidding for 30 blocks, got less than OIL, said sources.

The 55 blocks are spread across 10 sedimentary basins, covering 60,000 sq km.

The second round of Discovered Small Field (DSF) auctions will be held by the end of July. Earlier, there were reports that it could not start before September due to some technical issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Gujarat to be 1st state with 100% piped gas network, India to see 25% coverage

download (3).jpgSource: Business Standard, Jun 14, 2018

Gandhinagar: Gujarat will become the first Indian state to get completely covered under the piped gas distribution network after the ninth round of bidding, which will see a quarter of the country brought under the network.

The western Indian state already has 84.31 per cent of its area under the city gas distribution (CGD) network, and will see the remaining area covered after the ninth round of bidding which opened last month, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Chairperson D K Sarraf said here today.

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