RIL writes on oil ministry on development of additional gas fields

RIL’s $1.529 billion plan for bringing four satellite fields around the flagging D 1&D 3 gas fields to production has been awaiting approval since 2009 and now the ministry and DGH want the costs to be reworked in view of changed prices

New Delhi: Reliance Industries (RIL) has sought oil secretary GC Chaturvedi’s help to get stalled approvals for development of additional gas fields and price approval for sale of gas produced from coal seams (CBM), reports PTI.

RIL late last month had written to Mr Chaturvedi on his ministry and its technical arm Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) withholding approvals for satellite and R-Series fields in KG-D6 block that would help offset the decline in output of the flagging main fields.

It highlighted the KG-D6 oversight committee, made up of representatives of the oil ministry and the DGH, withholding nod for three gas finds in KG-D6 block and two in Orissa offshore NEC-25 area by wrestling powers to declare a gas find as commercially viable when the contract provides the panel the role of only ‘review’.

“While concern is being repeatedly expressed about the fall in production from the D 1and D 3 fields (in KG-D6 block), we find that all our proposals for augmenting production from other finds do not seem to be making much headway,” RIL executive director PMS Prasad wrote.

RIL’s $1.529 billion plan for bringing four satellite fields around the flagging D 1&D 3 gas fields to production has been awaiting approval since 2009 and now the ministry and DGH want the costs to be reworked in view of changed prices.

The ministry and DGH have also refused to give nod to a $73 million pre-development work in limited weather window available in Bay of Bengal from December to March 2012, for gathering more data to make an informed development plan.

Stating that such a cost can be adjusted against the final development plan, Mr Prasad said despite the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) as well as past precedent providing for such work, “government nominees on the Management Committee (that overseas operations of KG-D 6 block) are now insisting that pre-development activities are not covered in the PSC.”

If the approvals don’t come, the company would lose the four-month weather window and would then be forced to wait for one full year to begin work.

RIL said Declaration of Commerciality of discoveries D 29, D 30 and D 31 in KG-D6 block and D 32 and D 40 in NEC-25 have been pending with Management Committee since February 2010 over tests used to ascertain the finds.

Mr Prasad said RIL had submitted price formula for sale of coal bed methane (CBM) gas from Sohagpur (East) and Sohagpur (West) blocks in Madhya Pradesh blocks in September but approval has not come in spite of completion of 60 day mandated period.

RIL wants the price at which RasGas of Qatar sells liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India on a long-term contract saying it is an arms-length price.

“They delay in the approval impacts project schedules and our ability to bring CBM gas to production,” he added.

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HCL Tech to provide data centre services to AstraZeneca

HCL will be responsible for managing AstraZeneca's entire data centre environment across over 60 locations globally

IT major HCL Technologies said it has been selected as a strategic partner to provide infrastructure outsourcing services to bio-pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca.

However, no financial details of the deal were disclosed.

As part of the five-year engagement, HCL will be responsible for managing AstraZeneca's entire data centre environment across over 60 locations globally, including hosting and migration of some of the existing large data centers, HCL Technologies said in a statement.

In addition, HCL will manage AstraZeneca's global collaboration environment including email, messaging and collaboration services for users worldwide.
HCL will also deliver transformational projects including server virtualisation, storage and backup transformation and implementation of the hybrid cloud.

"In today's economic environment, organisations across the world are facing unique challenges of rising operational and input costs, demanding customers and changing regulatory environment," HCLT executive vice president and head (global infrastructure services) HCL ISD R Srikrishna said.

On Tuesday, HCL Tech ended at Rs392.90 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 4.57% down from the previous close.

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Srei Infra to raise Rs500 crore in January 2012

Srei has not issued retail infrastructure bonds so far, though the tax-saving tool has been available for the last two years

Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd has decided to raise up to Rs500 crore through a public issue of infrastructure bonds.

"The company board approved the Rs500 crore secured, non-convertible, redeemable infrastructure bond and the issue will hit the market by early January 2012," Srei Infra Chairman Hemant Kanoria told PTI.

Srei has not issued retail infrastructure bonds so far, though the tax-saving tool has been available for the last two years. Srei officials declined to provide a figure on the rate of interest of the bond as it was not yet finalised and an application has not been filed with the market regulator. However, they indicated the rate would not be higher than 9%.

Srei officials said the company would tap the 30,000-odd client base of the group and its distribution network along with normal capital market distribution channels for the issue. In the 2011-12 fiscal, IDFC was looking to raise Rs5,000 crore in two or three tranches and L&T Infra hoped to raise Rs1,100 crore from infrastructure bonds, which reportedly have not been receiving a very enthusiastic response.

On Tuesday, Srei ended at Rs24.65 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 4.83% down from the previous close.

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