Companies & Sectors
Oil and gas shortages: Government must act expeditiously

Despite the huge decline in oil and gas capacities from RIL and delay in approving Cairn’s plan for Rajasthan, the government is wavering on its policies and relying more on imports

After hitting a peak production of 60 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) by end of 2009, Reliance Industries’ (RIL) output has fallen down to 30 mmscmd, a steep fall of 50% from its Krishna Godavari (KG) D-6 block.
RIL is in a fix; literally between the devil and the deep sea. Due to the delay in government approval and uncertainty arising out of this, despite having spent over $6 billion in the pre-developmental activities on the D-6 block, the oil and gas exploration and production major is putting its exploration activities on the hold.
Presently the D1-D3 fields in the Krishna Godavari block are producing some 23 mmscmd while the MA fields are getting the balance of 5.8 mmscmd to make the up the current production.
As the uncertainty continues, RIL and its partners, BP and Niko are planning to submit a revised field development plan (FDP) for D-1 and D-3, aimed at maximising the gas recovery and bring about satellite discoveries in the block to increase the production.
Cairn India, on the other hand, is planning to spend $600 million to increase the output in its Rajasthan oil fields, which has crossed 100 million barrels so far, with a flow of 175,000 barrels a day.
Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources, has sought the intervention of prime minister Manmohan Singh, with a view to seeking the oil ministry’s permission to explore within the ring-fenced development area that contains 25 oil and gas finds.  If and when given, Cairn will endeavour and increase the current output from 175,000 barrels a day to 300,000, reaching 15 million tonnes per year.
Although the Rajasthan production sharing contract and mining lease have provisions that permit carrying on exploration and development programme in the area, Mr Agarwal has stated that they have been asked to obtain government approval for the same. Such avoidable formalities only delay the work planned by the company. 
It is essential that the government departments act as catalysts for development and production of oil and gas rather than act as stumbling blocks.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)



Dahyabhai S Patel

4 years ago

To conserve/spend less hydrocarbons, government must ask all citizens to observe petroleum holidays/fast for two days per week. Majority of cars manufactured must be for exports only vis a vis making public transport efficient, frequent and easily available.

Government must reduce its hydrocarbon consumption by 50% and ministers officials must not travel too frequently to different locations for useless reasons like inagurations etc.

More biogas and gobergas plants should be used to the ultimate level using cattle dung, human excreta, agrowastes, household food wastes etc and community biogas plants should be used as fuel for heating and power generation, besides solar PV power generation. All materials used for these must not have any overheads/taxation.

Government should take the subsidy back from the gobergas plants holders given earlier by village and khadi commission if the plant is not found in working condition. This will reduce use of chemical fertilizers using costly hydrocarbon inputs like gas, RFO, naptha etc.

Technology for vehicles to run on electricity is available and made use of it. If not available as multinational companies have purchased the same and vehicles running on electricity destroyed, R&D must be encouraged for the same.

Bowing to local opposition, Maharashtra cancels four SEZs

The cancelled SEZs include, M&M SEZ in Pune district, IndiaBulls SEZ in Raigad district and Videocon SEZs in Aurangabad and Pune district

Mumbai: Bowing to opposition from the local communities, Maharashtra Government has cancelled four proposed Special Economic Zones (SEZs), reports PTI.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Industries Minister Narayan Rane and board members of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
"We have cancelled four SEZs, which were facing strong opposition from the locals," Rane told reporters later.
Mahindra and Mahindra SEZ was to come up on 3,000 thousand hectares in Mawal in Pune district. India Bulls SEZ was to come up on 1,936 hectares at Ranjankhar, Raigad district. Videocon Realty and Infrastructure SEZs were to come up at Gandheli, Aurangabad and at Pune's Wagholi, on areas of 2,763 and 1,000 hectares respectively.
"The locals, especially the farmers, were strongly against these SEZs. At Gandheli, police even had to lathicharge (to disperse the protests)," said Rane.
The senior Congress Minister also said that most of these lands were under irrigation, which was another reason. "We (MIDC) have adopted a policy wherein the land under irrigation is not acquired for the industrial purpose." 
Another reason for cancellation of SEZs was lack of interest on developers' part, said the state government.
"As the developers did not evince any interest, the agreement with them was cancelled by MIDC," an official statement said.


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