Gas from new Reliance fields from April: Deora

February 18th, 2009 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Natural gas supplies from the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast and awarded to Reliance Industries, will start from April with 40 million metric standard cubic metres per day, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said Wednesday.
Addressing the members of the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the oil ministry, Deora said the production will significantly address the country’s demand for fuel, especially for domestic and transport sectors.

“The production will go a long way to increase the supply of fertilisers in the country, bring down fertiliser subsidy, increase production of power and liquefied petroleum gas, reduce dependence on petroleum products and improve environmental standards.”

The Krishna-Godavari field awarded to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is eventually set to produce 80 million metric standard cubic metres of gas per day.

The minister said the extreme volatility in the global oil prices in the past year saw the Indian basket of crude oil touch $142.04 per barrel July 3 before plunging to $35.83 per barrel Dec 24.

“Though there has been a steady fall in international oil prices since August, the average price of the Indian basket during 2008-09 continues to be still high at $91.42 per barrel, against the average price of $79.25 per barrel in 2007-08.”

Deora told the members that the next round of auctions for the exploration of hydrocarbon assets - the eighth for oil and gas and the fourth for coal-bed methane - would be launched soon.

He said with production sharing contracts under the seventh round signed Dec 22, a total of 203 such pacts had now been signed under the new round, leading to the area under exploration increasing more than four times to cover 47.5 percent of Indian sedimentary basin.

“During the XI Five Year Plan (2007-12), area under exploration has been targeted to cover 80 percent of total area of Indian sedimentary basins.”

Speaking about refining, Deora said such capacity within India had risen to 177.97 million tonnes of crude oil per annum, following the commissioning of the 29 million tonne refinery of Reliance Industries at Jamnagar in December.

“The country is not only self-sufficient in refining capacity for its domestic consumption but also exports petroleum products substantially.”

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