ONGC set to start production from KG basin by month end

With the new facility, the initial production of gas is set to touch 2 mmscmd and that of associated oil to 9,400 bpd. ONGC, which has 24 blocks in the basin, currently produces 840 tonnes of oil per day and 3.8 mmscmd of gas from its onshore blocks

Hyderabad: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is all set to start production of natural gas and oil from its offshore blocks, G1 and GS15, in the KG basin by month end and is awaiting a nod from the PMO for formal inauguration, reports PTI.

As this is the first offshore block of the PSU in the Krishna-Godavari basin being put into production, it is apt for prime minister to inaugurate the facility, a senior official, who did not want to be quoted, said.

"As the first offshore block of the country, Mumbai High in the west coast was inaugurated by then PM Indira Gandhi, we want the present PM Manmohan Singh to inaugurate the east coast offshore field," the official said.

With the new facility, the initial production of gas is set to touch 2 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) and that of associated oil to 9,400 barrels per day (bpd), sources said.

The oil and natural gas major, which has 24 blocks in the basin, currently produces 840 tonnes of oil per day and 3.8 mmscmd of gas from its onshore blocks.

While, the G1 block is located 28 km off Amalapuram coast in water depths ranging from 135 to 500 meters, the GS 15, in shallow waters, is located at 5 km from the coast in the KG basin.

The project is almost five years behind schedule with the cost overruns following delay on part of the Australian contractor Clough Engineering who eventually quit the project.

The production of the gas was originally scheduled to start from the integrated field way back in April 2006, at an estimated cost of Rs1,200 crore.

Leighton India had been awarded a $17 million contract for completion of the offshore installations.

Since these blocks were allotted on a nomination basis, ONGC gets 60% of the international price for oil and $4.2 per British thermal unit for gas.

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Govt confident of finding solution to Iran oil payment stalemate

Iran is unlikely to carry out the threat of stopping supplies to India as the UN-sanctioned regime led by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can ill-afford to lose its second-biggest crude buyer after China, accounting for about 20% of its exports

New Delhi: More than six months after a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) order threw out a mechanism to pay for Iranian oil, petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy today said India is trying to ensure uninterrupted supplies of crude from the Persian Gulf nation, reports PTI.

"There is a problem (about payments through an alternate mechanism)," Mr Reddy told reporters here. "We are sorting it out. We are optimistic about finding a solution and ensuring uninterrupted supplies."

Iran's Fars news agency had on Sunday quoted National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) managing director Ahmad Ghalebani as saying that Tehran had "seriously warned the Indian side of the possibility to halt oil exports if a solution is not found to clear its arrears".

NIOC had on 27th June written to refiners like Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and Essar Oil, who are the principal buyers of Iranian crude, demanding that a mechanism be put in place to pay for its oil supplies, failing which supplies will be stopped from August.

Mr Reddy said alternate to a scrapped long-standing mechanism to payments for import from the Persian Gulf nation using a clearing house system run by regional central banks, was in the process of being worked out. He did not elaborate.

Officials in his ministry said alternate mechanism was 'days away' from finalisation. The payments will be in Euro but needed approval of the finance ministry.

Iran is, however, unlikely to carry out the threat of stopping supplies to India as the UN-sanctioned regime led by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can ill-afford to lose its second-biggest crude buyer after China, accounting for about 20% of its exports.

Without India, Iran will be left with just China and Korea as buyers, officials said.

Iran is supplying some 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to India on credit since late December 2010 when RBI scrapped the Asian Clearing Union (ACU). Outstanding payments have now topped $6 billion.

Iran is India's second largest oil supplier, accounting for 12% of its needs.

Officials said the only option left with India was to pay in its own currency, rupee.

Korea and China use their own currency to pay for Iranian imports. Iran buys cars and several other commodities, including heavy equipment, from the two nations from the payments it earns from oil sales, leaving almost nothing by way of actual currency transfer.

MRPL, a unit of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is the largest buyer of Iranian crude at 142,000 bpd. Essar imports 110,000 bpd, state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp 65,000 bpd and Indian Oil Corporation 50,000 bpd.

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Karvy extends footprint in Middle East

The Karvy Group and Computershare have entered a definitive agreement with Bahrain based KPMG Fakhro to acquire a majority stake in its affiliate, Bahrain Shares Registering Company WLL.

The Karvy Group and Computershare, through their securities registry joint venture Karvy Computershare Pvt Ltd, have entered a definitive agreement with Bahrain based KPMG Fakhro to acquire a majority stake in its affiliate, Bahrain Shares Registering Company WLL (BSRC). The acquisition is part of Karvy Computershare's Middle East expansion strategy enabling the extension of its investor services.

Karvy Computershare Pvt Ltd (KCPL) provides registrar services to mutual funds and corporates across India. Currently, KCPL services over 67 million investors, across 500 corporate and 29 mutual funds from nearly 500 locations, making it clearly the largest investor servicing entity in India. Karvy Computershare is a 50:50 joint venture between Karvy from India and the Australia based global registry leader, Computershare.

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