Govt approves $5.25 mmBtu price for ONGC C-Series gas

The exploration major began production from C-Series fields last month and is currently producing between 0.8 and 1.2 mmscmd from 6-7 wells drilled to date. Peak output of 2.8 mmscmd will be reached once all the 15 wells are drilled

The government has approved $5.25 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) as the price of gas produced from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) C-Series fields in Mumbai offshore, reports PTI.

State-owned ONGC had initially sought $5.5 per mmBtu but the oil ministry last month approved a price of $5.25 per mmBtu, a senior ministry official said.

Natural gas produced from C-Series fields is sold to GAIL, which further markets it to end users.

ONGC began production from C-Series fields last month and is currently producing between 0.8 and 1.2 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) from 6-7 wells drilled to date. Peak output of 2.8 mmscmd will be reached once all the 15 wells are drilled, which may happen post-monsoon.

The official said the price approved for C-Series field is about a dollar more than the price at which Reliance Industries (RIL) sells gas from the nation's biggest gas field in Krishna Godavari (KG) basin off the east coast.

Reliance gets $4.215 per mmBtu for the gas it produces from KG-D6 fields off the Andhra coast. The price is fixed for the first five years of production—till March 2014.

KG-D6 gas production began on 2nd April and is slated to rise to 80 mmscmd by year-end, nearly doubling the nation's gas output.

The official said according to the production profile given by ONGC, the peak output of 2.8 mmscmd from C-series will last 5-6 years.

The price for C-series fields is lower than what GAIL pays for gas from the western offshore Panna/Mukta and Tapti or PMT, fields that are jointly owned by British Gas, RIL and ONGC.

GAIL pays $5.7 per mmBtu for PMT gas, compared to $4.3 per mmBtu for Cairn India-operated Ravva field off the east coast.

None of the prices, include transmission charges, marketing margins or local levies on gas sales.

ONGC sells a large chunk of its gas at the government controlled price, which was recently revised to $4.2 per mmBtu.

The company has invested Rs3,195 crore to develop the C-Series marginal field that is estimated to hold in-place reserves of 15.54 billion cubic metres of gas and 4.46 million cubic metres of condensate.

The C-Series fields were discovered in 1990s and are about 60 km west of Daman in the Tapti-Daman block offshore Mumbai at water depths ranging from 19 metres to 35 metres, but considered marginal at the pre-revised price of $1.79 per mmBtu that ONGC got for most of its gas.

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May exports jump 35 %; European crisis may affect demand

Exports rose to $16.1 billion from $11.95 billion in the same month last year on account of the low base effect as recession in the US and several other countries impacted global trade

India's exports rose 35.1% in May to $16.1 billion year-on-year, but the trouble brewing in some European economies may weigh on future demand, reports PTI.

The seventh straight month of rise was registered on a low export base of $11.95 billion in May 2009, when shipments had plunged by over 29% from the previous fiscal under the impact of the recession in the US and several other advanced economies.

For the April-May 2010-11 period, exports grew by 35.7% to $33 billion against the year-ago period, according to official data released today.

President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) A Sakthivel said that the crisis in some European countries is a cause for concern.

"We hope the growth trend will continue but the only worrying aspect is the crisis in the Eurozone, which is likely to affect India's exports in that area," he said.

He also said the depreciation of euro would provide fierce competition to Indian products in countries where they are facing competition from Euro nations. The euro has depreciated by about 17.5% against the rupee since November last year.

Of the $176.50 billion exports last fiscal, Europe accounted for 23%.

Ministry officials said that labour-intensive sectors like engineering, gems and jewellery, leather and man-made fibres have registered healthy growth rates in May.

Imports also surged 38.5% in May to $27.4 per cent, indicating a rapid pace of domestic economic activity and leading to a trade gap of $11.29 billion during the month under review.

Imports during the first two months of the current fiscal grew 40.9% to $54.7 billion against USD 38.85 billion in the same period last year.

Oil imports in May were valued at $8.8 billion while the non-oil import bill was about $18.6 billion.

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No overwriting on cheques after 1st December: RBI

RBI has also advised banks to create awareness among customers about the new norms, which were aimed at preventing fraud, besides expediting clearance of cheques where Cheque Truncation System is used

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directive to banks, asking them not to honour cheques with overwriting, will come into effect from 1st December instead of the earlier scheduled date of 1st July, the apex bank said in its latest circular, reports PTI.

The new rule is intended to prevent fraudulent withdrawal of money and expedite clearance of cheques.

Meanwhile, telecom company Bharti Airtel subscribers received an SMS on 28th June that said "as per RBI, cheques with changes in amount or payee name (despite signature next to them) will not be cleared with effect from 1st July."

However, Airtel said that it is in the process of sending a revised advisory to its customers informing them about the change in the deadline to 1st December.

RBI has also advised banks to create awareness among customers about the new norms, which were aimed at preventing fraud, besides expediting clearance of cheques where CTS (Cheque Truncation System) is used. Under CTS, image of cheque is sent to clearing house for transfer of funds.

When contacted, an RBI spokesperson said, "The notification regarding cheque truncation system which prohibits alteration will come into effect from 1 December 1, 2010. There is no mention of 1st July."

The central bank in February had come out with circular on \'Standardisation and enhancement of security features in cheque forms\' detailing the norms for image-based processing of cheques.

RBI had said that fresh cheques should be issued by customers in case of change in payee\'s name or amount (whether in figures or words). Changes, however, could be made with regard to date.

The new norms will not apply to those cheques, which are cleared by clearing houses that use Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) or non-MICR system.

Also, it added, the norms will not be mandatory for over the counter collection of funds or for direct collection of cheques outside the Clearance House Arrangement.

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COMMENTS

sunil khande

7 years ago

dear sir
i have received a cheque which is altered by the payee 10 days back my accounts dept is not accepting the same they are saying that R.B.I has changed the rule , can i deposit the cheque of the customer because custoemer is not giving me anothe cheque

regards
sunil khande

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