ONGC to enter LPG gas distribution business

ONGC would use the new subsidiary for its foray into city gas distribution business and sale of imported LNG

New Delhi : In an attempt to de-risk its exploration business, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to foray into gas retailing business through a new subsidiary -- ONGC Gas Ltd, reports PTI.

ONGC would use the new subsidiary for its foray into city gas distribution business and sale of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), company officials said here.
 
The new unit may be aimed at making amends to the company letting go lucrative opportunities to enter gas business. Though being the country's largest natural gas producer at around 55 million cubic meters per day, ONGC has virtually no presence in marketing of the environment friendly fuel.

All of its gas is marketed by state-owned GAIL India Ltd. It had let go marketing rights on gas from even newer fields as also of LNG imported by Petronet LNG Ltd.

ONGC holds 12.5% stake in Petronet LNG, the nation's largest liquefied natural gas importer. This is the same as the stake held by GAIL and refiners Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp. While others market a share of LNG imported by Petronet, ONGC had never demanded sale rights.

Also, plans to set up a LNG import facility at Mangalore were shelved. But under Sudhir Vasudeva, ONGC is renewing its focus on natural gas, whose share in India's primary energy basket will almost double to 20% by 2025.

ONGC is part of a consortium that is vying for British energy group BG's stake in Gujarat Gas, which retails CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in cities like Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat.

Officials said ONGC Gas would bid for city gas distribution (CGD) licences and explore possibility of setting up a LNG import facility. Also, it may import LNG at one of the terminals in the country and market the fuel to consumers directly.

ONGC believes that the nation's dependency on imported LNG, now estimated at 30%, would rise as production of older domestic fields falls.

ONGC had few months back appointed AT Kearney to chart out its city gas foray. AT Kearney suggested setting up of ONGC Gas for bidding for licence to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households, they said.

Gas business would help the firm de-risk its exploration business with oil and gas output from majority of its old and ageing existing field slated to hit a decline soon.
 

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Air travellers have to pay extra money from Tuesday at Delhi airport

From 15th May, a departing international passenger, travelling over 5,000 kms, would have to pay Rs1,068 as UDF and an arriving passenger Rs881.10. For passengers who travel between 2,000 and 5,000 kms, a departing traveller would be paying Rs845.50 and an arriving one Rs699.17

New Delhi: Air travel cost from Delhi would go up from Tuesday next when higher user development fee (UDF) becomes effective for all domestic and international passengers while departing or arriving at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, reports PTI.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) on 25th April decided to raise airport charges, including UDF, by a whopping 346% for two years, with airlines protesting the move and saying they and the passengers would have to face the brunt of the massive hike.

The AERA's decision has been accepted by the government and notified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation now, official sources said.

From 15th May, a departing international passenger, travelling over 5,000 kms, would have to pay Rs1,068 as UDF and an arriving passenger Rs881.10. For passengers who travel between 2,000 and 5,000 kms, a departing traveller would be paying Rs845.50 and an arriving one Rs699.17.

The international travellers flying short distances below 2,000 kms, would have to pay Rs534 for departing from Delhi and Rs436 for arrival.

In the domestic sector, a departing passenger would pay Rs462.80 for travel over 500 kms and an incoming passenger Rs391.60. For travel up to 500 kms, a passenger would pay Rs231.40 and Rs195.80 for using the airport for departure or arrival.

This is the first time that even incoming passengers are being included in the ambit of UDF. The UDF rates applicable from 15th May would go up further next year, as per the AERA order.

The ticket prices would also get hiked depending on to what extent the airlines pass on the additional burden to passengers due to the hike in various airport charges, like those on landing, parking, navigation, fuel throughput and usage of Common User Terminals (CUTE).

Terming the move as "extremely disappointing", the airlines' global body, International Air Transport Association (IATA) had earlier said the increase in airport charges would make Delhi "the world's most expensive airport."

Airline industry sources said the higher charges would not only burden the passengers at IGI Airport but also discourage foreign airlines from operating from here.

The hike was, however, less than half of the 774% hike sought by GMR-led joint venture Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL). It had said the increase in the airport charges was "inadequate" and "much below our expectations".

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COMMENTS

A Kumar

5 years ago

We seem to be surprised at such news,even though it is well known that a mandate for the airport expansion and management is given to a private party in a PPP arrangement.

Who is going to pay for a mile long walkway, escalators and airconditioing?
Unfortunately in Public sector such issues are funded by the Govt.
It is only fair that the actual users pay for the facilities they use, unless we want to go the Greece way.
Nothing comes for free, not even the highways and flyovers which will baloon into usage costs all over in the times to come.

Personal Finance Exclusive
Bank of America begins principal-forgiveness program

About 2 lakh homeowners from the US could save as much as 30% of their monthly payments under the program

ConsumerAffairs.com, in a report said that Bank of America (BoA) has begun contacting some of its mortgage customers who may be eligible for a mortgage balance reduction. The bank is committed to forgiving some principal for underwater borrowers, as part of a settlement with 49 states and the US government.

In the first wave of letters, Bank of America said it is targeting more than 2 lakh mortgage-holders who could potentially save as much as 30% of their monthly payments under the program.

"Building on home retention and payment assistance programs already in place, we are meeting our obligation to deliver this additional relief to our customers following the completion of the recent global mortgage settlement," said Ron Sturzenegger, Legacy Asset Servicing executive. "To the extent principal reduction and other modification tools help us turn mortgages headed for possible foreclosure into long-term performing loans, it will be positive for homeowners, mortgage investors and communities."

Complaints
Unfortunately Bank of America, as most other mortgage lenders, has drawn complaints from struggling homeowners who have been trying to modify their mortgages.

"We have a BOA loan and we cannot get them to do anything to help," Cat, of Mulberry, Tenn., wrote in a ConsumerAffairs post. We get the run-around, we send documents and never get replies other than being told to send documents again. We were told we were getting a modification over a year ago and now we are not getting it."

"For the past 18 months I have been trying to get a loan modification from Bank of America," wrote Carolyn, of San Diego, Calif. "My house is now in foreclosure."

Bank of America's new principal forgiveness program will target many customers already in the modification process, so it remains to be seen if this resolves the issues that have plagued the process so far. Bank of America has expressed confidence the program will help, noting that it actually began it back in March.

Early start
"So far under this early initiative, about 5,000 trial modification offers have been mailed, providing a potential total of more than $700 million in forgiven principal," the company said in a statement. "Homeowners are required to make at least three timely payments before the modification can become permanent."

Bank of America says the wave of mailings beginning this week will reach a broader base of customers who may be eligible for this principal reduction program. The letters provide each homeowner with a description of the program and an invitation to provide financial information to begin the review process.

To be eligible for this program, a homeowner must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Owes more on the mortgage than the property is worth today.

        Was at least 60 days behind on payments on 31 January 2012.

  •   Has a contractual monthly payment for principal, interest, property taxes, hazard insurance and any applicable homeowner association fees totalling more than 25% of gross household income.
  • Has a loan that is owned and serviced by Bank of America, or serviced for another investor that has given the bank delegated authority to do such modifications.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA/VA are not participating in the principal reduction program, but Bank of America says other modification programs which may provide comparable reductions in monthly payments are available on those loans.

Courtesy: ConsumerAffairs.com/Mark Huffman)
Read the original report here

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