Oil ministry sitting on approvals for 8 Reliance gas finds: DGH

The DGH, while forwarding a note to the oil ministry for approval of RIL's investment plans for four satellite finds in the KG basin block, stated that Declaration of Commerciality for eight finds has been awaiting the approval of the oil ministry since November 2007

New Delhi: The oil ministry representative on the panel that oversees operations in Reliance Industries' (RIL) KG-D6 block has not approved almost half the gas finds the company has made, even though over years have elapsed since they were struck, reports PTI quoting oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

The DGH, forwarding a note to the ministry for approval of RIL's investment plans for four satellite finds in the Krishna-Godavari basin block, stated that a Declaration of Commerciality for eight finds has been awaiting the approval of the oil ministry since November 2007.

"Declaration of Commerciality (DoC) of eight satellite gas discoveries (D-4, D-6, D-7, D-8, D-16, D-19, D-22 and D-23) was reviewed in the Management Committee (MC) meeting on 22 November 2007," the DGH note said.

"The MC resolution (declaring the eight finds as viable for commercial production of gas) had been signed by MC nominees of the joint venture (RIL) and its minority partner (Niko Resources of Canada) and the first government nominee (DGH). Ministry of petroleum and natural gas' consent is still awaited on MC resolution," it said.

After a gas discovery is made, its potential is assessed to ascertain if it can be commercially produced. Once the DoC is approved by the MC, which oversees operations in the block, an investment plan is drawn up for bringing the gas to production.

Unless, the oil ministry grants a DoC, RIL cannot begin work on the field development plan.

RIL has so far made 18 gas finds in block KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6, which lies off the Andhra coast. Of these, two-Dhirubhai-1 and 3, or D1 and D3-have been put on production and nine others (D-2, D-4, D-6, D-7, D-8, D-16, D-19, D-22 and D-23) have been declared as commercially viable by DGH.

Of these nine finds, the oil ministry has sanctioned the DoC of only D-2, which was discovered in April 2002, around the same time as the landmark D-1 and D3 discoveries.

The DGH note said RIL submitted a field development plan for the nine satellite gas discoveries with an estimated capex of $5.6 billion and reserves of 1,708 billion cubic feet (BCF) in July 2008.

However, techno-economic feasibility studies carried by the DGH at the government-fixed gas price of $4.2 per mmBtu found them unviable, yielding a negative Net Present Value of $2.51 billion.

Subsequently, DGH asked RIL to optimise the plan. The firm submitted an optimised development plan for four gas fields (D-2, D-5, D-19 and D-22) in December 2009 proposing to invest $1.529 billion to produce up to 10 million standard cubic metres per day of gas in five years' time.

While D-6 was discovered in April 2003, D-19 was struck in December 2009, and D-22 in April 2005, the note said.

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L&T Mutual Fund floats L&T MIP–Wealth Builder Fund

L&T Mutual Fund new issue closes on 11th October

L&T Mutual Fund has launched L&T MIP-Wealth Builder Fund, an open ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate monthly income through investments in a range of debt, equity and money market instruments. The new issue closes on 11th October. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL MIP Blended Fund Index is the benchmark index. Richa Sharma (for debt portion) and Anant Deep Katare (for equity portion) is the fund manager.

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Mobile payments market expected to touch $245bn: E&Y

"Overall, mobile payment services are expected to reach $245 billion in value worldwide by 2014," according to the report by Ernst and Young

Billed as the future of banking, the value of financial transactions carried out through mobile phones has been pegged at $245 billion worldwide by 2014 in a new report by global consultancy firm Ernst & Young.

"Overall, mobile payment services are expected to reach $245 billion in value worldwide by 2014," according to the report by Ernst and Young (E&Y).
At the same time, the number of users carrying out transactions using mobile money is expected to total 340 million by 2014, equivalent to 5 per cent of existing mobile subscribers across the globe, the report said.

There were 81.3 million people worldwide that used their mobile devices to make payments in 2009 and the value of m-payments stood at $69 billion during the period, according to an estimate.

The mobile payments market has gained traction in recent years, owing to factors such as higher penetration of handsets in comparison to coverage of population with banking services and benign regulatory environments.

"The acceleration of mobile remittance services alongside new mobile payment scenarios highlights the range of opportunities for the mobile phone to redefine the movement of money by lowering costs, increasing convenience and reducing fraud," the report said.

The increasing use of the mobile payment concept by consumers across the globe, especially in heavily populous countries in the Asia-Pacific region, may inflate the market for mobile payments in the coming years. The report said that mobile money is being seen as the key for many operators in Asia to provide value-added services to customers and operators in emerging markets, such as the Philippines and Bangladesh, as well as a catalyst for bringing banking services to the large unbanked population of these countries. It further said that operators in developed markets are targeting e-wallets at smartphone users.

In terms of the mobile payment technologies being used, SMS mobile payments are the most prevalent worldwide mobile, while Near Field Communications (NFC) and internet transactions over mobiles are among the other fast-growing technologies.

Earlier, a KPMG survey indicated that most executives worldwide believe the use of cellphones for financial transactions will gain widespread acceptance within four years.

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