Search This Blog

Reliance Industries made a fourth gas discovery  

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries has made a fourth gas discovery in a block close to its prolific D6 area in the Krishna-Godavari Basin in the Bay of Bengal.

The well, KGV-D3-W1, drilled in deepsea block KG-DWN- 2003/1, also known as D3, struck natural gas at 3,501 metres below the sea bed, UK's Hardy Oil and Gas Plc -- RIL's minority partner in the block -- said in a press statement.

It, however, did not give an estimate on the reserves the find may hold.

This is the fourth successive gas discovery in the block, which lies in the same basin as RIL's KG-D6 finds.

"A gross gas pay zone of 37.5 metres was encountered," Hardy said.

Hardy holds a 10 per cent interest in exploration block KG-DWN-2003/1, which was awarded to a RIL-Hardy consortium in the fifth round of bidding under the New Exploration Licensing Policy.

RIL is the operator of the block with 90 per cent interest.

RIL's KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6 block, was awarded in NELP-I in 2000.

"The well, KGV-D3-W1, the fourth exploration well in this (KG-DWN-2003/1) block, was drilled to a total measured depth of 3,501 metres in a water depth of 1,653 metres. A gross gas pay zone of 37.5 metres was encountered in Pliocene aged sands," Hardy said.

The discovery has been named Dhirubhai-52 and has been notified to the government of India and Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. "The potential commerciality of the discovery is being ascertained through more data gathering and analysis," it said.

The D3 license is located in the Krishna-Godavari Basin on the East Coast of India and covers an area of approximately 3,288 square kilometres.

Commenting on the well results, Hardy Chief Executive Officer Yogeshwar Sharma said: "Four successive discoveries highlight the significant prospectivity of this extensive exploration block. The Krishna-Godavari Basin is an emerging world class basin for India. Further exploration drilling is planned in this area and we look forward to continuing to participate in unlocking of the basin's exceptional energy potential."

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Revised ATF prices in Delhi  

NEW DELHI: State-owned oil firms on Tuesday cut jet fuel, or ATF, prices by 4 per cent, the first reduction in rates since July, on softening of international oil prices.

Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) rates in Delhi will come down by Rs 1,715 per kilolitre (kl), or 4.09 per cent, to Rs 40,138 per kl from midnight tonight, said an official of Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest fuel retailer.

The rates for Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, the other dominant jet fuel retailers, will see a similar price hike, as the three state-run firms fix prices in tandem.

The reduction follows two successive rise in prices on August 1 and 16.

In Mumbai, the price of ATF were reduced by Rs 1,800, or 4.16 per cent, to Rs 41,388 per kl.

IOC, BPCL and HPCL revise jet fuel prices on the first and the 16th of every month, based on the average global oil price in the previous fortnight. Today's price cut is only the third this fiscal, the previous reductions being on June 1 and July 16.

ATF rates have gone up on 10 occasions since March. Jet fuel in Delhi was priced at Rs 37,982.22 per kl in the second half of February before international oil rates started firming up, resulting in an increase in domestic rates.

Today's cut in fuel rates will reduce the burden on Indian air carriers, but no comments could immediately be obtained from airlines about the impact on passenger fares.

The ATF price in Kolkata was reduced by Rs 1,799 to Rs 48,462 per kl, while in Chennai, it came down from Rs 46,255 to Rs 44,397 per kl.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tidal wave power project of 100 MW in West Bengal  

1,000 MW solar power by 2013: Farooq Abdullah

New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah Monday said that the government is aiming to generate 1,000 MW of solar power by 2013.

'One thousand MW will be generated in the first phase by 2013. The government has targeted 20,000 MW of solar power by 2020 through the Solar Mission,' he said.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abdullah said the total potential for renewable energy production is estimated at 85,000 MW.

On West Bengal's prospects in terms of production of renewable energy, he said: 'We will do a demo tidal wave power project of 100 MW in West Bengal'.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Petrobras acquired 50% stake of , a biodiesel company- Bioleo  

While global oil giants have taken significant steps toward biofuel generation, Brazil’s state-owned energy company Petroleo Brasileiro S.A (PBR) or Petrobras S.A. is no exception. The company recently acquired 50% stake of Bioleo Industrial and Comercial, a local biodiesel company. The deal was made for a total consideration of 15.5 million Brazilian reals ($8.8 million). Petrobras made the purchase through its biofuels unit, Petrobras Biocombustivel.

Bioleo is situated in Feira de Santana, state of Bahia. The company has the capacity to process 130,000 tons of grains of several types of oilseeds. The unit also has a storage capacity for 30,000 tons of grain and tankage for 10 million liters of oil.

Petrobras and the other partners (holding the remaining 50% stake in Bioleo) will control the operations of Bioleo. Under the terms of the deal, the company will provide 6 million Brazilian reals for investments in operational and HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) improvements, which will be disbursed equally by the partners.

In a separate development, Petrobras signed a farm-in agreement with Karoon Gas Australia Ltd, an energy exploration company. As per the agreement, Karoon will acquire a 20% interest in Maruja and Quasi Prospects, located in the offshore Santos Basin, Brazil. Subject to obtaining regulatory approvals in Brazil, Karoon will get a 20% interest in both blocks by funding 35% of a well in the Maruja Prospect, as part of a two well drilling program.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras enjoys strong market share positions in the petroleum product and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) marketing businesses in Brazil. Given the pipeline full of development projects and impressive exploration successes, we have an optimistic outlook for the company.

However, uncertainty over the capitalization timeline and the company’s huge 2010-2014 investment budget along with the absence of any near-term positive catalyst compels us to stay on the sideline. We have a Zacks Rank of #3 (short-term Hold recommendation) on Petrobras ADRs. We also reiterate our long-term Neutral rating. Courtesy: WALL STREET PIT

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

India is now the largest petroleum products exporter in Asia, surpassing South Korea  

India is top exporter of petro products in Asia

RIL's Jamnagar, Essar's Vadinar refineries help overtake Korea.

.Mumbai, Aug 26 :::: India is now the largest petroleum products exporter in Asia, surpassing South Korea. According to the data compiled by oil and metal information provider Platts, India's gross exports currently average 1 million barrels a day, inching past South Korea which exports 0.9 million barrels a day. With the commissioning of a new refinery by Reliance Industries at Jamnagar and Essar Oil increasing refinery output at Vadinar, India overtook South Korea by mid-2009 and has since then consistently maintained the lead position.

India's average petroleum products export grew from 0.77 million barrels a day in January 2009 to one million barrels a day in August 2009. In the current year, the average oil products export from India stands at 1.07 million while South Korea exports average 0.88 million. In fact, India's refining capacity at 3.69 million barrels a day is the third largest in Asia after China and Japan, which have a refining capacity of 9.6 million bpd and 4.64 bpd respectively. Platts' compilation is based on the data from individual countries.

“Both Reliance Industries' Jamnagar and Essar's Vadinar refineries contribute more than 90 per cent of the petroleum products exports while the rest is by public sector oil companies,” said Ms Vandana Hari, Asia Editorial Director, Platts. “Public sector companies, which are obliged to serve the domestic market adding refinery capacity, will help private players to free up more capacity for exports,” she said. According to her, petroleum products exports from India holds great potential as both RIL and Essar have high complexity refineries which make products that meet Euro IV and Euro V standards. Europe, the US and Africa are identified major markets for Indian refiners.

Growing demand ::: The growing overseas demand for petroleum products from India is reflected in export volume growth of Reliance and Essar. RIL exported 32.8 million tonnes of refined products last fiscal against about 22.6 million tonnes for the previous period, fetching revenue of $20.9 billion (Rs 1,10,176 crore). RIL's export volume grew by 45 per cent last fiscal while it grew 82 per cent last quarter to 9.5 million tonnes. The new Reliance Petroleum refinery in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Jamnagar, which is designed to be export-oriented, is estimated to be exporting more than 80 per cent of its total output. Essar's Vadinar refinery has a total current throughput capacity of 14 million tonnes a year. Of the total production, about 30 per cent is exported while more than sixty per cent of refined products are sold to public sector oil marketing companies

By….…..Manu P. Toms……....from the pages of THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Higher domestic oil products consumption in July  

Domestic oil products sales up 2% in July

New Delhi, Aug. 30

Higher sales of auto fuels pushed up the domestic oil products consumption in July. The oil products sale in July was up by 2 per cent at 11.42 million tonne year-on-year, according to an industry analysis data of Petroleum Ministry.

Industry trackers say, though 2 per cent was a good growth, it was lower than 3.6 per cent growth seen in July last year. The high sales registered in July last year was mainly because of 10.7 per cent growth seen in diesel consumption due to drought in many areas.

Petrol sales in July this year rose 14.8 per cent to 1.16 million tonne from a year ago and diesel consumption rose 5.6 per cent to 4.8 million tonne. The annual sales of kerosene, lubes, Bitumen and some of the other industrial products were down in July.

Crude oil imports in July rose 3.8 per cent from a year earlier to 13.19 million tonne, as refiners processed more crude. The petroleum products imports rose 34.6 per cent and oil products exports saw an increase of 26.5 per cent from a year ago.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

ONGC board meeting on Thursday ON Cairn course  

ONGC meeting to chart Cairn course


New Delhi, Aug. 24: The board of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, meeting on Thursday, may decide to ask Vedanta Resources to pay Cairn India’s full share of cess and royalty for producing crude in Rajasthan.

“Vedanta Resources’ acquisition move is not on the agenda of the board meeting. However, it will surely come up for discussion,” a senior ONGC official said.

London-listed mining firm Vedanta Resources has struck a deal with the promoters of Cairn India to buy 51-60 per cent of the company for $8.5 billion to $9.6 billion. Cairn India’s Rajasthan blocks are India’s largest onland oil fields.

Officials said the ONGC board could either negotiate with Vedanta-Cairn to share the cess and royalty or join hands with other PSU firms and place a counter offer for Cairn India. ONGC has the first right of refusal to many Cairn India’s properties and its approval is mandatory for any change in ownership.

Cairn’s three producing oil and gas assets, including the Rajasthan fields, and seven exploration blocks either have explicit provisions for prior approval before transfer of interest or give the right of first refusal to partners such as ONGC. Cairn India holds a 70 per cent interest in an oil block in Rajasthan, while ONGC holds the rest.

“It’s not that ONGC and other state companies cannot raise $10 billion for a counter-bid, but the main issue is if they invest this amount on new overseas assets that will create much more value,” said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, equity head at SMC Capital.

Deepak Pareek, analyst with Angel Broking, said, “From the energy security point of view, this (counter bid) does not help India much as the money would rather be invested in overseas acquisitions.”

ONGC is planning to bid with Petro Vietnam for BP’s Vietnam assets, so analysts feel it will be prudent for the explorer not to go in for a counter offer.

Analysts said this was the opportune time for ONGC to negotiate cess and royalty for the Rajasthan blocks it owned with Cairn. ONGC has 30 per cent interest in the Rajasthan fields but has to pay cess and royalty on the entire production, thereby giving negative returns on its investments.

Analysts said the government, ONGC, Vedanta and Cairn India might work out a deal under which Cairn India agreed to pay cess and royalties for its 70 per cent share in the block.

ONGC has said earlier that it wants the government to reimburse it for royalties it will have to pay beyond its 30 per cent interest.

According to an estimate, ONGC will have to pay a royalty of over Rs 18,000 crore in 10 years.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Updates on counter bid for Cairn India  

Waking up to the challenge from abroad, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Oil India Limited (OIL) and GAIL (India) are learnt to be in talks to make a joint bid to counter Vedanta Resources' $8.48 billion offer for a majority stake in Cairn India.

Sources in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said the three PSU companies have already got commitments for $10 billion in loan from international banks if they attempt such a move. The development comes close on the heels of Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora holding talks with officials in the Ministry and the Petroleum Secretary, S. Sundareshan, shooting off a letter to Cairn Energy Plc seeking details of the deal with Vedanta Resources.

Officials also indicated the possibility of some private sector players also joining hands in the consortium to make the counter bid. The Ministry is not comfortable with Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta Group buying 51-60 per cent of Cairn India for $8.48 to $9.6 billion and is learnt to have asked the PSUs to work out a joint bid. Vedanta Resources is already facing trouble in Orissa for its bauxite mining project which faces tough environmental issues.

The Government, as already indicated, was also looking at various legal options to take on Vedanta Resources and deny it the approval necessary for conclusion of its deal with the U.K.'s Cairn Energy, which holds 62.37 per cent stake in Cairn India.

Officials said that ONGC had got informal commitments for funding up to $10 billion for the takeover bid. The ONGC-OIL-GAIL consortium may make a bid at more than the Rs. 405 a share offered by Vedanta. “If the Government makes up its mind, then nothing can prevent it from achieving what it wants. Time is not a factor at all and quick decisions, if required, would be taken to protect the national assets,” a senior official said.

The Petroleum Ministry was also against Vedanta acquiring Cairn's stake because it was a non-oil company. The Ministry feels it holds the trump card on Vedanta-Cairn deal because as it feels that government approval is a must.

However, Cairn Energy is of the view that the Vedanta deal is a corporate transfer and not sale of stake in an oil field that would have triggered need for regulatory approvals. Cairn India holds 70 per cent operator interest in the 6.5 billion barrels Rajasthan block that is at the centre of its parent, Cairn Energy plc's $8.48 billion deal to sell its majority stake in the company to Vedanta Resources. Courtesy: HINDU

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Indian Oil Corporation have bid for 10 Shell India's retail outlets  

Essar and IOC bid for Shell outlets


Essar Oil and state run Indian Oil Corporation have bid for around five and 10 of Shell India's retail outlets respectively. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd is negotiating to bid for nine outlets.

Shell India, the domestic arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, had offered for sale 20 of its 80 operational retail outlets and around 20 sites acquired earlier for setting up such outlets. The only foreign petro retailer in the country, it has approached oil marketing companies, public and private, on this.

However, despite repeated attempts, Shell India could not be asked to confirm the development. A Shell India official had earlier told Business Standard the company was constantly reviewing retail strategy and would continue to build a desired network of retail chains.

The executive added that "While we are selling in some areas, we are also acquiring in other regions to scale up.” Essar Oil said the company had given its bid and a decision was likely by this month end. It may bag around five retail fuel outlets. Courtesy: STEEL GURU

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Williamson Magor Biofuel to start commercial production of bio-diesel crude oil by 2012 in its Balipara plant  

jatropha plantation in Karbi Anglong district of Assam. Telegraph picture

Nagaon, Aug. 23: Joint venture company D1 Williamson Magor Biofuel Ltd has set 2012 as the target to start commercial production of bio-diesel crude oil. The company will initially produce 30,000 litres crude oil every day at its proposed Balipara plant in Sonitpur district. Initially, the product will be shipped to European countries through Chittagong port in Bangladesh.

A company source yesterday said the Balipara plant would take the shape of a full-fledged refinery in 2014 where 1.10 lakh litres of bio-diesel would be produced every day. Bio-fuel development centres mainly on the cultivation and processing of seeds of jatropha, a bio-fuel plant, which is rich in oil. Since 2006, our jatropha garden expanded up to 132,000 hectare area in India of which 51,000 hectares are in the northeastern states. Another one lakh hectares in the northeastern states is being targeted to be covered within the next five years,” the source said.

The proposed bio-diesel refinery in Balipara is a Rs 600-crore project for which preliminary works like site selection and other official formalities are complete. According to the company source, construction would start by the end of this year.“We have deposited Rs 2.67 crore for a 24-acre plot within Balipara-based industrial growth centre and works like submission of draft agreement to the state government has been completed. We hope Dispur would not delay the remaining work,” said manager (administration) D1 Williamson Magor, Digbijoy Borgohain.

According to him, the company plans to lay emphasis on involving the interested farmers of different parts of Assam to jatropha cultivation. Its main target areas include Karbi Anglong district where a vast highland area lies barren despite much potential.“Since 2008 we have covered 2,000 hectares in eastern part of the hill district and cultivation in another 8,000 hectares is continuing during this session. Our target is to cover another one lakh hectare within the next five years,” Borgohain said. Courtesy: THE TELEGRAPH

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Vedanta Resources' plan to mine bauxite blocked  

 India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh blocked UK-based Vedanta Resources' controversial plan to mine bauxite on the sacred hills of the Dongria Kondh tribe.

Earlier in the day, Ramesh said Vedanta had shown a 'shocking' and 'blatant disregard for the rights of the tribal groups' and also questioned the legality of the massive refinery Vedanta has already built below the hills.

The rejection of the project is a crushing defeat for Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, Vedanta's majority owner and founder.

The struggle had pitted the 8,000-strong tribe, nearly all of them illiterate, against the might of an eight billion dollar company and its founder, himself worth about six billion dollars. (ANI)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

UAE- increase in gasoline price by 0.20 UAE dirhams  

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates is likely to raise gasoline prices in September, an energy official said on Monday, as it moves to phase out subsidies that have strained the budget of the world's third largest oil exporter. The official said a price hike might also prompt the government to hold talks with Oman on imposing quotas to limit the unregulated flow of cheaper subsidized fuel from the neighboring sultanate.

"This is the third incremental increase which is leading up to the target of reaching the international price level," said the official, from the state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), adding there was no set date for when prices would reach international market levels. "For sure, people will be upset when the change happens, but then they will get used to it and everything will be normal," he said.

The UAE announced plans earlier this year to gradually reduce subsidies on gasoline, which cost the government hundreds of millions of dirhams a year, until prices match international market levels. While national subsidy figures are not made public, the wealthy oil exporting emirate of Abu Dhabi has spent an average of $6.5 billion a year for the past four years on various subsidies, from water to energy, according to official data.

So far, there have been two incremental increases in the price, and a third is expected to take place after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in the first half of September, the source said. The increase is likely to add 0.20 UAE dirhams to the cost of a liter of fuel, which would boost the price of 95-octane gasoline to 1.92 dirhams ($0.52) a liter, while the same petrol in Oman costs just $0.31 a liter.

The anticipated new price in the UAE amounts to about $1.97 per gallon, still lower than the $2.17 benchmark price for US gasoline futures. Fuel demand across the Gulf has risen rapidly as subsidized prices have encouraged consumption from a growing population enjoying petrodollar-fuelled economic expansion and gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles. Courtesy: ARAB NEWS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Cairn India Ltd has discovered oil and gas in its East Coast onshore block  

Cairn India Ltd has discovered oil and gas in its East Coast onshore block. According to the company, a flow of 75 barrels a day of oil and 0.27 million cubic feet a day of gas was achieved during the initial testing in the block KG-ONN-2003/1.

If and when more oil and gas are found in the block by Cairn and its partner ONGC, it would help expand their production and revenues. Sources told Business Line that it is a light crude oil. Light crude oil flows freely at room temperature and receives a higher price on the commodity markets because it can produce a higher percentage of petrol and diesel.

Earlier this year, Cairn had initiated a multi-well exploration drilling campaign in the block that it had won in the fifth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-V). “The well and test results are being evaluated to assess the commercial potential of the discovery and to determine the future appraisal programme,” the company said in a statement to the BSE on Monday.

It further said that Cairn Energy India Pty Ltd (CEIPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cairn India, has notified the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons of a discovery of oil and gas in the Nagayalanka-1z well, located in the onshore block KG-ONN-2003/1.

CEIPL, the operator of the block, has a 49 per cent participating interest and ONGC holds the balance 51 per cent equity. Cairn already has experience in the prolific east coast, as it is producing from the Ravva fields.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Solar energy to popularize the use of solar products in Visakhapatnam  

Visakhapatnam's energy conservation park a major tourist draw

By Basi Reddy, Visakhapatnam, Aug 23 : A large number of tourists and locals in the Kailasagiri area of Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district are thronging an energy conservation park, that showcases benefits of solar energy and its eco-friendly nature.

The Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority and the Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NEDCAP) have jointly set up this park.

The park has been set up in 0.41 acres of land and many programmes are being initiated to expand over a further five acres.

Everyday this park draws hundreds of tourists from different parts of the country besides the local residents. These visitors say a visit to this energy conservation park offers a good opportunity to understand the usage of renewable energy.

"There are so many things to see here. I am very happy to visit this place. When I will go back, I will tell other people that I saw things like solar cooker in an energy park in Visakhapatnam," said Sandeep, a visitor from Haryana.

The District Manager of NEDCAP P. V. Rama Raju said solar water heaters, solar cookers, radio, and the use of solar energy for functioning of televisions and lights have been demonstrated in the park.

He also informed that the government is also taking every initiative to popularize the use of solar products.

"The government is also providing subsidy and also they are increasing day by day to popularize these items. After establishment of this park, so many people, both from rural and urban areas, they are visiting our office, and taking these items, and also we are presenting their use in the public and various colleges also," Raju said.

He further tells that surrounded by green hills and valleys, this park is fast becoming a major charm among people also for its picturesque view

Environmental experts said that the government has also planned to start many missions to conserve energy.

"The solar energy is very expensive, the photovoltaic is very expensive. If you want to bring down the price of generation as well as the price at which you can give it to the people, you must bring new technologies, and the technology is available in Europe and in USA, where you can bring down the cost by 30 percent or more," said R. V. Ramarao, a professor of environment studies.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Automatic self-cleaning solar panel technology  

New 'self-dusting solar panels' inspired by Mars mission

Washington, Aug 23 : Scientists have discovered a new technology of 'self-dusting solar panels' that could increase the efficiency of producing electricity from sunlight and reduce maintenance costs for large-scale solar installations.

The technology is the one that was developed for space missions to Mars.

"We think our self-cleaning panels used in areas of high dust and particulate pollutant concentrations will highly benefit the systems' solar energy output," said study leader Malay K. Mazumder.

"To our knowledge, this is the only technology for automatic dust cleaning that doesn't require water or mechanical movement," he added.

In sun-drenched areas where dry weather and winds sweep dust into the air and deposit it onto the surface of solar panel, the grime reduces the amount of light that can enter the business part of the solar panel, decreasing the amount of electricity produced.

Clean water tends to be scarce in these areas, making it expensive to clean the solar panels.

"A dust layer of one-seventh of an ounce per square yard decreases solar power conversion by 40 percent," explained Mazumder.

The new method involves deposition of a transparent, electrically sensitive material deposited on glass or a transparent plastic sheet covering the panels.

Sensors monitor dust levels, and when its concentration reaches a critical level, the material is energized, creating an electric charge that repels the dust wave.

"Less than 0.04 percent of global energy production is derived from solar panels, but if only four percent of the world's deserts were dedicated to solar power harvesting, our energy needs could be completely met worldwide. This self-cleaning technology can play an important role," concluded Mazumdar.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Cairn India- government insisting on its approval  


NEW DELHI: Vedanta Resources' plan to buy control of oil and gas explorer Cairn India for $9.6 bn may be headed towards a legal and takeover battle, with the government insisting on its approval for the transaction and ostensibly prodding companies owned by it to launch a counter-bid.

Late on Monday evening, media reports said, citing sources, that Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) & gas transmission company Gail could team up to launch a counter-bid for Cairn India. Some agnecies reported that ONGC, Oil India and Gail may make a joint counter-bid for a majority stake in Cairn India, valued at $8.48 bn. ET was not able to confirm this story.

The deal, the biggest takeover in the country this year, may drag on if the government and Vedanta decide to battle it out in the courts over the state’s locus standi on the deal, leaving shareholders guessing about the outcome.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Coal-bed methane block to Geopetrol International  

By Our Staff Reporter

Bhopal, Aug 19:

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has provided a block in the 609 sq-km Sohagpur Coalfield, in Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol and Umaria districts, to France-based Geopetrol International Incorporated consortium Reliance Natural Limited and Reliance Infrastructure Ltd for prospecting coal-bed methane.

A petroleum exploration deed was inked here yesterday by the consortium's members and the state government in the presence of Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Resources Rajendra Shukl.

Director (Geology and Mining) R K Sharma, Geopetrol's J K Talukdar, Reliance Natural's Dr V K Rao and Reliance Infrastructure's Dr Daisy Gogoi were signatories. The block is estimated to have about 2.0 trillion cubic ft gas and in the wake of successful exploration the daily output will be to the tune of 30 lakh cubic m.

The gas possesses the potential to be used in power generation, small and medium industry, as cooking gas and in transport.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Microbes to eat up oil content  

Bacterial cocktail to eat up oil slick on the west coast

…by….Dinesh C. Sharma / Mail Today…newspaper.

A MASSIVE operation to clean up the oil pollution on the west coast caused by the collision of two shipping vessels began on last Friday. Scientists from Indian Oil Corporation ( IOC) are using a cocktail of microbes that eat up oil content in soil to clean up the mess. This is the first time bioremediation technology is being used on marine soils. It was recently tested to clean up oil spills off the Orissa coast. The technology has been under use on land areas for cleaning up oily sludge generated in refineries and in tank farms for some years now.

The technology makes oily sludge ecologically friendly through bioremediation. It involves the use of specialized cultured bacteria which eat away the oil in the sludge, making it natural without causing any harm to environment. Usually polluted soil is gathered in a pit and the bacterial cocktail is added to it. Within a few days, the bacteria do their job and turn the sludge into natural soil.

The clean up on the West coast is being jointly conducted by Faridabad- based the Research and Development Centre of IOC and The Energy and Resources Institute ( TERI), which had originally developed the technology. A team consisting of Dr D. K. Tuli of IOC and Dr Banwari Lal of TERI visited the sites affected by the spill, along with officials of the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board. About 100 volunteers from different agencies are carrying out the operation.

According to Dr R. K. Malhotra, director of research and development at IOC, some 1,500 kg of microbial mixture has been specially cultivated in large scale bioreactors jointly by TERI and IOC. These microbes have been dispatched to Mumbai in special containers for the clean- up operation. In the Orissa spill caused by sunken ship Black Rose at Paradip port, the microbial mixture was used and it worked very well. The mixture called — Oilivorous- S — is a blend of five microbes selected to biodegrade a wide range of hydrocarbon contaminants including oily sludge and sulphur.

These are of natural bacterial isolates and pose no threat to those who handle them or to the environment, officials said. The bacteria remain localised and get attached to targeted molecules of hydrocarbons. However, extending the same technology to aquatic or marine systems where the conditions are altogether different in terms of nature of medium needs further research.Microbes don’t thrive and survive very effectively in saline water.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

india to outsource all future oil-spill clean-up operations  

Global firms to clean up future oil spills in India

Press Trust of India

After reviewing the country's preparedness to handle oil spills, the Ministry of Shipping has decided to outsource all future clean-up operations to global agencies with expertise in the area. "We are most likely going to outsource it, as it is not possible for ports to buy all the equipment which runs into several hundred crores. We are planning to authorize the ports to outsource the job of clean up to people who have prior experience in handling such cases," Rakesh Srivastava Joint Secretary Shipping Ministry said.

The ministry came to this conclusion after the government's disastrous experience in combating the spill from a damaged ship, MSC Chitra, at the mouth of Mumbai harbour."We are not equipped to handle an oil spill of even 700 tonnes," said a senior government official involved in the Mumbai clean-up operation."The equipment needed for cleaning up the oil slick is very expensive and its maintenance is very difficult," the official told PTI.

The shipping ministry has created a contingency fund of Rs 17 crore for clean-up operations. The money has been collected by ports, which handle oil imports and exports, by charging 50 paise per tonne from oil passing through these ports."We will prepare an approved list of people or companies which handle oil spills....Technical people from all over the world," Srivastava said. Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar recently reviewed the ongoing clean up activity for a speedy restoration of sea lanes leading to Mumbai Port.

However, the responsibility of combating small oil spills has been divided between the ports and the Coast Guard. Ports are expected to handle oil spills of less than 700 tonnes in their vicinity. A possibility of a spill exceeding 10,000 tonnes had not even been contemplated till the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened, which caught governments off guard, with no clear guidelines on handling oil spills of such a magnitude. The Director General of Shipping S B Agnihotri said that the Coast Guard and Ministry of environment are the primary agencies tasked with combating and containing oil spills. The Coast Guard had a supply of booms, surface skimmers and chemical dispersants but they could be in short supply, he said.

According to reports the oil spill has spread to the Elephanta Caves, and the Alibaug coast in neighbouring Raigad.Maharashtra's Minister for Environment Suresh Shetty said the state will clean-up the waters, and bear the cost. "which will later be recovered from the ships involved."

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

India invited to participate in $10-billion trans-Saharan gas pipeline project  

NEW DELHI: Oil-rich Algeria, the second largest country in Africa, has invited Indian companies to participate in a $10-billion project to build an ambitious trans-Saharan gas pipeline originating from Nigeria via neigbouring Niger.

"We need more foreign partners outside Europe for this 4,000-km-long project," Algerian Ambassador to India Echarif Mohammed-Hacene said, referring to the pipeline, which aims to provide some European companies some alternatives to Russia gas.

"We hope Indian companies will show interest - not only for capital formation, but also to build the capacity itself," Mohammed-Hacene told IANS in an interview, underscoring how much Algiers is favourably disposed to participation by India Inc.

The ambassador said Algeria, one of the largest producers and exporters of natural gas in the world, has had some good experiences with the state-run Indian Oil Corp that has a $3-billion pact with his country's own public sector company Sonatrach.

The two state-owned firms had successfully bid for major hydrocarbon blocks in Libya.

Some of the world's biggest companies have evinced interest in the project, he said referring to Russia's Gazprom , Italy's ENI, France's Total and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

Nigeria, which claims the world's seventh largest gas reserves with about 183 trillion cubic feet, is willing to set aside 13-15 trillion cubic feet for the project. Algeria's own pipeline system extends under the Mediterranean Sea to Spain and Italy.

The ambassador said the reason why his country seeks new partners is simple: Europe is too close for their liking. "Spain is only 180 km from our coast. The level of European pressure on our economy is so strong it weakens us. We want new partners."

He said his vision was to see two-way trade between India and Algeria more than double over the next three years from $2 billion to $5 billion and for that it was crucial to explore areas that stretch beyond energy and other traditional sectors.

"India is our very good partner because the level of political confidence between us is very high. We've seen it in the past many examples where we needed foreign assistance. Where Europe refused us, India accepted. So, it is a matter of confidence."

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Minor rise in petrol prices  

Petrol prices set to rise again

NEW DELHI: Despite an uproar by Opposition parties inside and outside Parliament, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is likely to undertake a further, but a minor hike in the prices of petrol after the conclusion of Parliament's monsoon session in the first week of September.

Officials sources said here the recent spurt in international crude prices had not helped the situation and the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) were losing around 50 paise to Re. 1 a litre on petrol. The average crude oil basket is around $81 a barrel and shows no signs of moderating.

After it decontrolled petrol prices on June 25, the government contemplated issuing guidelines to the OMCs for adjusting the price of petrol against the movement of crude oil price in the international market. However, those guidelines are still to come. The State-owned OMCs are likely to raise petrol prices by at least Re.1 per litre by early next month. A hike is imminent to keep the mounting under-recoveries under control.

“Petrol price hike is imminent. Only the quantum of increase will have to be decided. At the beginning of this month, under-recoveries on petrol stood at 50 paise per litre, which has now gone up to Re. 1. This is something that OMCs now want to pass on to the consumers under the new pricing regime,” said an official.

Global crude prices have been rising for the past few weeks on hopes of recovery in energy demand.

Sujay Mehdudia

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Afghanistan discoveres oil deposit of 1.8 billion bbl reserves  

Afghanistan claims new oil find

Friday, August 20, 2010

Afghanistan has discovered an oil deposit, estimating reserves of 1.8 billion bbl. The deposit extends in a triangle between Balkh, Hairatan and Shuburghan. According to Oil Minister Wahidullah Shahrani, they will tender the Kashkari oil block in the northwest either in July or August and a large oil block in the Afghan Tajik Basin next year. Afghanistan currently has no official oil production at all, investment discouraged due to security concerns. However, according to Shahrani, safety is much better in the mountainous north where bulk of known oil and gas reserves are located.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Join the Solar Summit 2010  

The summit will be held during
13 to 15 October 2010  in Freiburg, Germany


Contact name: Theresia Strehler

Mobility forms of the future is the focus of this year’s international Solar Summit Freiburg congress .

Organized by: Messe München International

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

ABB opened wind power generator factory in Vadodara  

Engineering company ABB on Friday said it has opened a wind power generator factory in Vadodara, fourth such plant in India, to meet both domestic and overseas requirement of the equipment.

“The factory will supply wind power generators, a crucial component in wind turbines, to growing Indian and global markets,” a company press release said. The new factory, spread over 16,000 square meter, would produce up to 100 units per month with a rating of up to 2.5 MW and employs around 150 people, it said.

“Our energy efficient wind power generators will serve the growing need for components in the wind power industry globally,” Head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion business, Ulrich Spiesshofer said.

“With our comprehensive portfolio for the industry we are proud to contribute to the generation of clean power that will help countries to meet their growing needs for electricity while reducing their emissions," Spiesshofer said.

At present, India is the world’s fifth-largest user of wind power, and investments in this form of renewable energy are expected to continue to grow in the years ahead. ABB supplies a variety of components and solutions for wind turbine manufacturers and operators. ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 1,17,000

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

22 proposals for generating 20 Mw of solar power in Haryana  

Haryana shortlists players for solar power plants
The Haryana Government has shortlisted 22 proposals for generating 20 Mw of solar power in the State.

Power and Renewable Energy Minister Partap Singh said after having entered into memorandum of understanding with Haryana Power Purchase Centre. The developers had applied for final online registration with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA).

After the scrutiny of papers, IREDA would issue the and thereafter the developers would enter into power purchase agreement with the utilities and execute the projects. The solar power plants of 20 Mw would be installed during the current financial year, he added.

The minister said that the state government had also sanctioned a number of power projects for generating electricity through renewable energy sources. A detailed project report for setting up of five biomass power projects of 39 Mw capacities had been approved by the state government and action had been initiated by the developers to set up these projects. The electricity generated from these projects would be purchased by the power utilities on the rates decided by the regulatory commission, he added.

The minister said that Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency had implemented a first of its kind special project for the installation of solar photovoltaic street lighting system in the scheduled castes (SC) dominated villages having 50 per cent or more SC population.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

US & India setting up joint research centre on clean energy technologies  

India-U.S. clean energy research centre established

Narayan Lakshman (Hindu)

WASHINGTON: India and the U.S. on Friday formally signed an agreement for cooperation on a joint Clean Energy Research Development Centre.

The agreement follows from the discussions held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama during the former's visit to Washington in November 2009.

At the time the countries signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation on energy security, energy efficiency and climate change.

Discussions on the same saw further progress during the Strategic Dialogue held in June this year.

An official statement noted that priority initiatives under the MoU included the setting up of a joint research centre to “foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies.” The agreement was signed by Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar and Deputy Secretary of Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy Daniel Poneman.

The Centre aims to facilitate joint research and development by teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India on clean energy, officials here said. Under the arrangements, the areas of cooperation would include energy efficiency of buildings, smart grids, unconventional natural gas, second-generation bio fuels, clean coal technologies and solar energy.

Both governments would provide funding for the activities “to help ensure long-term and stable financial support to achieve the objectives of the Centre,” a statement confirmed. The Indian embassy here said that the agreement was a “significant step forward” in bolstering bilateral cooperation in an area of growing national and international priority.

Embassy officials further said to The Hindu that the research centre would be ‘virtual,' and not have any fixed physical locations.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bharat PetroResources enters into agreement with Australia's Norwest Energy for two shale gas blocks  

Mumbai, Aug 20:

Bharat Petroleum Corporation today said its exploration arm, Bharat PetroResources, has entered into an agreement with Australia's Norwest Energy to pick up a stake in two shale gas blocks in the Perth Basin.

"BPCL, through its 100 per cent subsidiary Bharat PetroResources Ltd (BPRL), has executed a letter of intent with Norwest Energy of Australia, for farming into two exploration acreages in the Perth basin EP413 and TP/15, which hold shale gas potential," the company said in a filing to the stock exchanges.

Norwest Energy currently holds 100 per cent interest in TP/15 and over 55 per cent interest in EP413 and is the operator of these blocks. Australia Worldwide Exploration partners Norwest Energy in the EP413 block, where it holds a stake of around 44 per cent.

"BPRL will acquire half of Norwest's interest in each of these blocks," the statement said, adding, "BPRL's commitment for these projects is up to 15 million Australian dollars (approximately $13.5 million) for exploration and drilling funding, including a carry of part of Norwest's share of the investment."

In its filing, BPCL noted that BPRL already has interests in two exploration projects in the Australian region and the current acquisition would give it the chance to enter the shale gas business.

In a separate filing to the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday, Norwest said, "BPRL has received the necessary approval to proceed with the transaction and is currently conducting its formal due diligence process, to be completed within 20 days of this announcement."

The transaction is also subject to Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum approval, it added.

The EP413 block is considered to have good potential for shale gas and it is proposed to drill at Arrowsmith, where in the 1960s, gas flowed at 4 million metric cubic feet a day (MMCFD).

The Red Hill South prospect in TP/15 block has potential recoverable oil of 9 million barrels, the Norwest filing said.

"Norwest plans to drill both the EP413 and TP/15 (blocks) by the end of 2010 or early 2011 and is in the process of sourcing a suitable drilling rig capable of drilling both drill targets," it added.

BPCL shares were being quoted at Rs 697.85 on the BSE today, up 3.24 per cent over the previous close.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wipro launched LED rechargeable lanterns  

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, the FMCG arm of Wipro Ltd has launched LED rechargeable lanterns. The lanterns are available in three configurations- Solar, Rechargeable and Dry cell.

Mr. Vineet Agrawal, President, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting said, “LED’s are the future of lighting. Given the current power scenario in India these LED rechargeable lanterns would be a great boon for consumers and would be an ideal replacement for kerosene lamps and petromax lanterns. LED’s help consumers reap the dual benefits of energy efficiency as well as being environmentally friendly”

-Mr. Sanjay Gupta Vice-President-Sales, Wipro Lighting said, “We would initially launch these lanterns in south India, U.P and Punjab. Our products use the latest LED technology and have been designed to suit the Indian conditions. The low power consumption of LED ensures that our lanterns give a backup of upto 25 hours once fully charged Rural areas where there are huge power cuts would be the thrust market for us. ”

The lanterns can be used as a torch as well as for general area lighting. With large parts of the country facing power cuts, LED’s are the ideal light source as they consume very little power. They are also environmentally friendly as they do not contain any mercury and last upto 30000 hours.

Compared to kerosene lamps and petromax lamps, LED lanterns-

Do not emit dangerous fumes.

Do not carry the risk of fire.

Do not generate heat and are easy to carry.

Some of the products being:

Lifelite Rechargeable LED lantern with 24 LED’s and 25 hours backup.

Lifelite Solar LED Rechargeable Lantern with 9 hrs backup and adjustable brightness.

Lifelite LED lantern Dry cell version with 24 LED.

Cosmos Rechargeable LED Emergency Lamp with two level brightness control.

For further details, please contact:

Pratvii Ponappa, Clea PR, Bangalore @ + (91) 9886321381 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting + (91) 9886321381 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Sagarika, Clea PR, Bangalore @ + (91) 9740194631 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting + (91) 9740194631 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

About Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting:

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCLG) is a profitable business of Wipro Limited. WCCLG has a presence in 40+ countries with 6500+ employees worldwide. It has 13 manufacturing locations i.e. 8 in India & 5 overseas.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Shale Gas the game changer and Reliance  

It should have been a time to reflect, but Mukesh Ambani wanted to paint the future. It was October 2009. Earlier that year, Reliance Industries had commissioned India’s largest oil refinery at Jamnagar and had started pumping natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin, but the chairman was looking ahead. He sunk into the sofa in his fourth-floor office at Maker Chambers IV in downtown Mumbai, and drew the contours of the next big thing for Reliance, one that would catapult it to the next level in the energy space.

“It has to be non-conventional and green. It has to be commercial and outside India,” he had told ET then during a 90-minute conversation.

Over the past five months, Reliance has articulated Ambani’s vision through a blitz of buys in shale gas — the newest form of natural gas that is gaining currency. The company has spent $2 billion, in three acquisitions, to buy fields of shale gas in the US. In terms of cost per acre, the last of the three deals was the priciest shale-gas deal struck there.

Shale gas is the future, agrees David Morrison, chairman, Wood Mackenzie, an Edinburgh-based research and consultancy in energy, mines and metals. “It’s a game changer that has caught most markets by surprise,” he said while speaking at the Asian gas summit in the capital in March. “We do our projections for 5-10 years, but the growth of shale gas could throw even the best of projections out of gear.”

The size of global shale-gas reserves is not known. Potentially, every rock formation, above and under the ground, can have shale gas, but only the US has really tapped this resource. China is said to have the second largest deposits of shale, after the US. Geologists have also identified deposits in Poland and Australia. Elsewhere, including India, the work has barely begun. But, says a senior Reliance official: “As a natural resource, it is more democratic and is found in several countries.”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Aban Offshore signed contract with Cairn Energy India for deployment of jack-up rig Aban-Il in Ravva block  

Aban Offshore - Signed a contract with Cairn Energy India Pty Ltd

Aban Offshore Ltd has informed BSE that a Contract has been signed with Cairn Energy India Pty Ltd for the deployment of the jack-up rig Aban-Il in Ravva block , located offshore East Coast of India, for a 5 firm well plus 2 optional well programmed. Cairn Energy India Pty Ltd in Joint Venture with ONGC, Videocon and Ravva Oil operates the Ravva block. The estimated revenues from the firm period of the Contract (with an estimated duration of 150 days) is USD 15 million (equivalent to approximately Rs. 69.75 crores). The deployment is likely to commence during the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010.



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Will ONGC bring surprise by counter biding for Cairn India?  

ONGC may counter bid for Cairn


New Delhi: There may be a fresh twist to Vedanta Resources Plc’s plans to acquire a majority stake in Cairn India Ltd, if state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) follows through on the signal from the petroleum ministry to make a counter offer.“The question is how to get it to ONGC. Somebody has to give a better offer,” said a top functionary of the petroleum ministry, who did not want to be identified.

While Vedanta plans to enter the oil business by paying up to $9.6 billion (`44,832 crore) for a majority stake in Cairn India, ONGC is a partner with Cairn India in the joint venture that runs the latter’s main oil asset in the country. Cairn is the operator in block RJ-ON-90/1, the firm’s main asset in India, while ONGC is the licensee and a partner in the field with a 30% stake.

R.S. Sharma, ONGC’s chairman and managing director, said: “The government has not given us any directive.”Sharma had earlier said that ONGC was “looking into” Cairn’s announcement to see if it had the “first right of refusal” in the event Cairn planned to sell a controlling stake in its Indian assets. Not ruling out a counter bid, Sharma said, “We have not yet decided to bid.” Mint had reported on 17 August that the acquisition will have to overcome significant regulatory hurdles and a possible challenge from a partner of Cairn India, state-run ONGC.

“ONGC is waiting for the government’s direction. Our board meeting is scheduled for 26 August,” said another senior ONGC executive, who did not want to be identified.Manu Kapoor, director of corporate affairs at Cairn India, declined to comment on the development. Vedanta also declined to comment.“It has to come to the government and then we will take a call. A government nod is necessary and all the requirements of the production-sharing contract (PSC) need to be fulfilled. Energy security of the country is paramount,” said minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Jitin Prasada.

On Monday, Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy Plc had said it would sell between 40% and 51% of its stake in its Indian arm to the Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta. "We want them to pay the same price per share to the small shareholders,” said the first petroleum ministry functionary, who did not want to be identified.

On 17 August, the Vedanta group issued an advertisement making an open offer to the minority shareholders of Cairn India as part of its takeover exercise. The offer was made at a price of `355 per share for 20% of Cairn India’s equity. The deal was concluded at a price of `405 per share, of which `50 goes towards non-compete fees paid to Cairn UK. Under existing guidelines, non-compete fees do not get added to the open offer price that Vedanta will have to pay.

Under India’s proposed takeover norms, non-compete fees will not be permitted. Therefore, everyone gets to sell their shares at the same price. The proposed takeover norms would have also required Vedanta to make a larger open offer had they been in force. Realizing the challenges that face the deal, Cairn Energy’s chief executive Bill Gammell met petroleum minister Murli Deora on Tuesday.Deora declined to comment on the meeting.PTI quoted petroleum secretary S. Sundareshan stating that the “PSC provides for concurrence of the government when any assignment of interest in a block takes place”.Courtesy:LIVEMINT

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Track Your Ticketonline for Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi  

Track Your Ticket

The Ticket Tracking facility is for customers who have chosen Courier as a delivery method. Courier tracking is not available in Phase 1 of the Ticket Program. The tickets can be tracked as soon as the Phase 2 of the Ticket Program is launched on August 20, 2010.
Track here

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bangladesh CNG stations to remain closed for six hours everyday  

CNG Stations in Bangladesh Closed for 6 hrs Everyday


Dhaka: In compliance with the government order, all the CNG (compressed natural gas) refueling stations across Bangladesh remained closed on Monday (Aug 16) from 3pm to 9pm. It will continue to remain closed for six hours everyday until further notice in an attempt to increase gas supply to the power stations. The government on August 12 announced that all the CNG refueling stations would have to be closed 6 hours a day from 3pm to 9pm to facilitate increased gas supply to household consumers and power stations.

Against the backdrop of the government’s decision, the owners of the CNG stations Monday held a meeting with the Titas Gas Company authority to discuss the overall situation and also convey their reaction over the government order.

At the meeting at Titas Gas head office, the owners of CNG stations informed the Titas Gas officials that they had accepted the government order and would comply with it for a temporary period only for the month of holy Ramadan considering the public conveniences.

In response to such stance by the owners, Titas Gas managing director Md. Abdul Aziz Khan told them that “the present decision is only for the month of Ramadan”.He also assured them of conveying their opinion to the government’s policymakers.After the meeting, the Titas Gas managing director said that the 6-hour pump closure system was introduced considering the public convenience during the month of Ramadan.

Hossain Mansur Ahmed, chairman of the state-run gas agency Petrobangla, told newsmen that the decision would increase gas supply to the power stations and to ensure sufficient gas supply to residences. Gas supply to the Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Ltd. (KAFCO) has also recently been halted for the same reason, he said. Courtesy:Energy Bangla

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sinopec discovers natural well with a daily output of more than one million cubic meters in Sichuan Province  

Sinopec finds natural gas well


Sinopec has discovered a natural well with a daily output of more than one million cubic meters in Sichuan Province, according to a statement released Monday on the company's website.The Yuanba-204 well has a potential to produce daily about 1.3 million cubic meters. It is the biggest and the second well with a daily production above 1 million cubic meters in the Yuanba gas field located in the northeastern part of Sichuan, said the statement.

Surging natural gas demand during the unusually cold winter last year caused gas shortages in central and eastern China, something the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) blamed on a lack of pipelines and gas reserves. The NDRC priced the natural gas up one quarter in early June to narrow the gap between domestic natural gas and the international level and to reduce the losses for oil giants caused by imports.

Natural gas consumption of the first half of the year grew 22 percent over the same period last year, according to the NDRC.

The NDRC warned of a possibility of natural gas shortage this winter, though domestic output in the first half of the year rose 11 percent to 46 billion cubic meters, and gas import grew about 160 percent to reach 7 billion cubic meters, thanks to the new west-east pipeline that starting operations at the end of last year bringing natural gas from central Asia.

China has also planned to build a pipeline to Myanmar by 2012 to import 12 billion cubic meters of the cleaner fossil fuel every year. Natural gas made up 4.2 percent of China's total energy consumption in 2009, up from 2.4 percent in 2000. The country's target is to bring it up to one 10th by 2020. Courtesy:GLOBAL TIMES

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Confidence Petroleum India net profit for the first quarter- Rs10.5 crore  

India:Confidence Petroleum Q1 net profit up to Rs10.5 crore


Confidence Petroleum India Ltd said its net profit for the first quarter stood at Rs10.5 crore as compared to Rs6.1 crore for the same quarter last fiscal. In the June 2010 quarter, the company's total turnover increased to Rs192.1 crore from Rs100.1 crore, while its net sales increased to Rs192 crore from Rs100 crore, Confidence Petroleum said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).On Monday, Confidence Petroleum shares fell 5.5% to Rs10 on BSE, while the Sensex ended 0.6% down to 18,050 points. Courtesy:MONEYLIFE

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

West Bengal government declars further subsidy of Re.1 on a litre of diesel  

West Bengal announces further diesel subsidy of Re.1


Kolkata, Aug 16 – In a bid to deter transport operators from demanding a fare hike, the West Bengal government Monday declared a further subsidy of Re.1 on a litre of diesel meant for buses, mini buses and taxis, taking the total subsidy to Rs 2 per litre. However, transport operators said the concession was not enough.Making the announcement at the state secretariat here, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said the subsidy would entail an annual cost of Rs.280 crore.

Transport operators of the state are sceptical whether the raised subsidy will offset the entire increased expenditure on vehicles following the fuel price hike effected by the central government from late June.The state government had last month announced a subsidy of Re.1 per litre on diesel used for public transport, but the operators continued to clamour for a fare hike.This apparently forced the government to raise the subsidy Monday.

‘We welcome the state government’s decision of a further subsidy. But unfortunately this is not at all enough because in the last two years the prices of diesel have increased to a much larger extent.‘How will we be compensated for this remaining increased expenditure? We request the state government to increase the fares or compensate this increased expenditure,’ said Sadhan Das of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate.

‘This subsidy is not at all enough in the wake of increased expenditure. But I can’t say anything more than this now,’ said Suman Guha, assistant secretary, Bengal Taxi Association.The central government has lifted controls on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene, petrol and cooking gas, claiming the steps will help improve its fiscal position and release funds for other programmes. The central government has hiked the diesel price by Rs.2 a litre.Courtesy:India talkite

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves interim price of ethanol to Rs 27 per litre  

Govt fixes ethanol price at Rs 27 a litre


The government today fixed an interim price of Rs 27 a litre for sugarcane-extracted ethanol for doping in petrol, but a final rate will be set after an expert group gives its recommendation.The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an interim price of ethanol to Rs 27 per litre from existing price of Rs 21.50 per litre for five per cent mandatory blending with petrol."Government intends to implement the programme early and this will be possible with a fixed price initially and thereafter dynamic formula based pricing recommended by the Expert Committee," a government release said.

A committee, headed by Planning Commission member Saumitra Chaudhuri, would determine the formula for deciding the future pricing of ethanol.The Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP) "would become sustainable with the dynamic pricing formula which will ensure that there is no adverse impact on oil or the sugar industry," the statement said.

Following the announcement, shares of sugar companies rallied over six per cent on the stock exchanges. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, Bajaj Hindusthan gained 6.11 per cent, Simbhaoli Sugars was up 5 per cent and Shree Renuka moved up 3.4 per cent.Last month a Group of Ministers (GoM) had reaffirmed Rs 27 per litre price for ethanol to be paid by the oil marketing companies to the sugar companies.

The chemical industry and oil marketing companies had demanded a much lower price in line with prevailing domestic price of around Rs 18 per litre.In October 2007, the Cabinet had made mandatory five per cent ethanol blending across the country sans Jammu & Kashmir, North East and island territories. However, the Petroleum Ministry had not been able to implement the decision of mandatory doping of 5 per cent ethanol in petrol due to non-availability of the product from producers.Courtesy:BS

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Petroleum ministry takes strong exception to Cairn India’s failure to secure clearance from DGH  

The petroleum ministry has taken strong exception to Cairn India’s failure to secure clearance from a Director General of Hydrocarbons-led panel before announcing a 37% increase in resource base at its Rajasthan field. This could jeopardise its parent Cairn Energy's plan to sell a significant stake to Vedanta Resources. The ministry suspects the intention of the “hurried” announcement was to boost the company’s valuation before a sale. Following the announcement on March 23, Cairn India shares rose 3.7% to close at Rs 292.80 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Sources said the ministry has already conveyed its displeasure to Cairn India. DGH, which regulates the upstream oil sector recently asked Cairn India to explain why it did not follow the procedure mandated in the production sharing contract (PSC) before going public with a vision to produce 2,40,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), up from the earlier estimate of 1,75,000 bpd peak output, said a person privy with the development.

Besides, since ONGC is paying the entire royalty to the government for crude from the Rajasthan field (RJ-ON-90/1), despite owning only about a third of the venture, the government wants to have clarity on whether the buyer would foot the royalty bill for its proportionate holding.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Vedanta to go for an oil refinery  

After becoming a global metals player, the billionaire businessman on Monday put his stamp on the Indian oil and gas exploration market by taking over the country's third largest oil and gas exploration company, Cairn India. TOI caught up with Vedanta ResourceschairmanAnil Agarwal soon after the deal was announced, and even over the phone from distant London, it was quite apparent that he was pretty happy with the way things had turned out.

He declared his intent of not just being happy with exploration but going the whole hog with an oil refinery sometime in future and expanding the business to Africa. Excerpts from the interview :

We heard you at the conference call in the morning, where you talked about Vedanta becoming the natural resources champion of the country but somehow it still does not explain why you are entering the oil sector?

It's a unique investment. The Indian natural resource is a growing sector. We will leverage our skills, delivery and cost structure similar to what we have done in our other businesses for Cairn India and make it grow. Besides, about 25% of India's oil production is from Cairn India, making it a prized asset. It's also in our backyard of Rajasthan where we have Hindustan Zinc.

You are getting into a sector where you will face competition from biggies such as Reliance Industries and PSU oil companies. How do you plan to carve a niche for the company?

It's only the controlling shareholders that have changed. Cairn India will continue to run the way it is with the existing management. We will work with them to unleash the potential of the sector. Through Cairn India we will go to Africa and Sri Lanka and we will also allocate funds for our expansion. Besides, we would also look at setting up an oil refinery in line with government proposals.

Do you have any plans to change the name of the company as the British parent has the same name?

There is no plan to change the name of Cairn India. Even for our past acquisitions like Sesa Goa, which is an Italian name, the original name continues to exist. Similarly, for Hindustan Zinc we did not change the name.

Would you have to pay any royalty for retaining the name Cairn?

No royalty has been envisaged in our agreement.

When did you identify Cairn as an acquisition target and how long did it take to close the deal?

This opportunity came to us about three months ago and then we moved forward as Cairn India has huge discovery rights in our backyard (Rajasthan) where we have our zinc operations. Cairn Energy also preferred us because of our past experience in adding value to our assets. The transaction will close early next year.

Cairn India investors may feel cheated that they are not getting the same price as the promoters. Its stock has also fallen.

It's a very good offer to the shareholders. The Rs 50 premium has been offered to Cairn as they have forfeited their valuable right to operate in the Indian subcontinent.

Do you foresee any regulatory challenges, especially since ONGC has a stake in the company?

We don't foresee problems.

You have made many acquisitions in the past. How do you rate this current one.?

The only acquisition which did not turn out to be good was India Foils. The rest of the acquisitions have grown five fold. In Sesa Goa, when we took over, the production capacity was 5 billion tonne per annum, which has increased to 25 billion tonne. Similarly, Hindustan Zinc has gone up from 1,25,000 tonne to a million tonne.

How do you describe your journey from Patna to London?

It has taught me many things. More importantly disclosures, transparency, fearlessness and humility. The bedrock of the group has been built on these principles.

Read more: 'We will look at setting up an oil refinery' - India Business - Business - The Times of India

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Where to find a good petrol pump in Faridabad?  

Where to find a good petrol pump in Faridabad?
To find an answer I searched Internet and found this. Incase you have suggestion for any other petrol pump please send me your comments in the blog comments.

Indian oil @ badkhal crossing. There are two, one on each side of Mathura road. The one on your left when going towards Delhi is better. The other one is ok too, I guess, but only just about.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation's underground coal gasification project  

13 cos in race for Rajasthan State Petro's underground coal gasification projects


Kolkata, Aug. 14::::::::Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (RSPCL) — a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd — has received expression of interests (EoI) from 13 companies for underground coal gasification (UCG) programmes in the lignite deposits of Barmer-Sanchore and Bikaner-Nagpur basins in western Rajasthan.

UCG projects produce syn-gas (a mixture of various amounts of carbon-dioxide and hydrogen) having lower energy density than natural gas that is often used as fuel. The gas may also be used as an intermediate for producing synthetic petroleum. According to a company official, RSPCL will form a joint venture with two-three selected bidders and seek lignite blocks from the Centre for undertaking UCG projects in the 1,100 sq km area in two basins. The official said that among the prominent bidders are: Adani Power, Tata Power, Essar, Shiv-Vani, Abhijeet group, JSW Energy and Simon India Ltd (a wholly-owned project management subsidiary of Zuari Industries of the K K Birla group).

Essar has interest across the energy vertical. Shiv-Vani is mostly into drilling services. Abhijeet group has interests in metals and power sector. Adani, Tata Power and JSW Energy are major players in power generation. “All the 13 participants will now be asked to prove their technical eligibility in undertaking such projects. Based on technical expertise, we will shortlist two-three bidders to form joint ventures,” the RSPCL official told Business Line.

The PSU issued the tender seeking EoIs for UCG on June 12. Though initially the tender was scheduled to be closed on July 12, RSPCL extended the date to August 12. Underground coal gasification is considered as an uncharted territory in India. In 2004, oil and gas major ONGC mooted a UCG programme with technical support from the Stochinsky Institute of Russia in the coal-rich eastern region of the country. The company had entered into an MoU with Coal India Ltd for the project. In 2005, ONGC proposed a pilot UCG project in lignite-rich Tamil Nadu in collaboration with Neyveli Lignite Corporation. However, since then ONGC has not announced any progress in the projects.

Source …….….Pratim Ranjan Bose.from the pages of THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE NEWSPAPER

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Reliance petrol pumps to start again  

Reliance Industries plans to reopen all of its fuel stations in the country and is currently selling petrol and diesel at the same rates

as state firms, a company statement said on Wednesday.

Reliance, which operates the world's biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, shut down its petrol pumps in 2008 as crude prices surged towards $150 a barrel. At the time the Indian government subsidised fuel sales by state firms, knocking private retailers out of the market.

"If the government announces diesel deregulation then diesel, like petrol, will also be available at market rates. Further to this Reliance will resume operations across all pumps, pan India," the Reliance statement said.

Retail sale of petrol and diesel are again viable since the end of June when the government lifted all controls on petrol and raised administered prices of other fuels including diesel. Reliance owns more than 1,400 fuel stations in India.

The government plans to free diesel prices also, but the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission said in an interview the government would set diesel rates for the next few months.

Essar Oil, the only other private refiner in India, and Reliance had together captured about 17 per cent of domestic retail market for diesel and accounted for 10 per cent of petrol sales by 2005 before they were forced to shut down their pumps.

"Now, with the deregulation of petrol, there is a level playing field and Reliance petrol will now be sold at the same price as that of the other oil companies," the statement said.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Updates on Mumbai Oil spill  

IOC may take up cleaning of spilled oil near Mumbai. Photo: Bhaskar Paul/India TodayThe Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) may take up cleaning work of the spilled oil in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai from the Environment Department of Maharashtra. A final decision in this regard will be taken at a meeting between Petroleum Minister Murli Deora and the minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan along with the heads of IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in Mumbai on Thursday afternoon.The Maharashtra Government has already started the cleaning work with the help of Coast Guard. Environment Secretary Valsa Nair-Singh held meeting with the Inspector General of Coast Guard S.P.S. Basra on Wednesday to draw up action plan for clean up operations. Joint teams have been formed to organise clean up operation where oil spill is observed on the coast. The teams comprise officials from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai Collectorate and Coast Guard.

IOC may take up cleaning of spilled oil near Mumbai….Kiran Tare / India Today

The officials of Environment Department collected 43 water samples from 23 locations and found oil contents in the samples collected from Gateway of India, Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point, Geeta Nagar, Elephants Island and Uran."The mangroves at the Vashi creek are also affected after the oil spread there. Our experts said that the oil will wash away with the high tide and there will not be any permanent harm to the mangroves," Nair-Singh said."The MPCB will co-ordinate the funding requirement of all clean up equipments including gloves, gunny bags, plastic brooms, bins etc till the finances are approved by the Government," she said.Ranjit Martin, captain of the ship MSC Chitra which collided with another ship MV Kahlizia on August 7 has revealed that the ship was carrying only five containers which have hazardous substance like pesticides. Earlier, it was reported that the number of containers having hazardous substances was 31. Martin is sure that those five containers are still at the basement of the ship and not have fallen off into the sea.A team of salvage experts from Singapore succeeded in removing 30 containers from the sinking MSC Chitra on Wednesday. The ship was carrying 1200 containers at the time of collision. Out of that around 250 containers containing 500 tonnes of oil fell off in the sea.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

IOC is on the lookout for sites to set up solar and wind power projects in states like Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu  

INDIAN Oil Corporation (IOC) will spend Rs 2,000 crore over the next five years to develop power projects based on alternative sources of energy like tides, solar, nu clear and wind. "These (alternative sources of energy) are potential opportunities coming.IOC as an inte grated energy company needs to capture them," IOC chairman Brij Mohan Bansal said. The company has set aside Rs 2,000 crore for newer portfolios such as solar, wind and nuclear en ergies among others, the chairman said. IOC is on the lookout for sites to set up solar and wind power projects in states like Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. At present, it operates a 61mw wind power facility in Kandla. The power generated is used for captive utilisation in its refineries. On a later date, IOC plans to com mercially market the power. "Diversifying into newer alternate energy portfolios will not have much impact on firm's revenues at this stage. But it will add to the bottom line in 10-15 years from now," Dilip Khanna, partner (oil and gas practices) at Ernst & Young.
IOC to spend Rs 2,000 cr on alternative energy
..Siddhartha P Saikia / Financial Chronicle

Looking into the future, India must look at alternative sources of energy, said RS Pandey, for mer petroleum secretary. "We must find a substitute to crude oil in the long run.

Alternate sources of energy such as solar, wind must be developed," Pandey added. Meanwhile, IOC will form a JV for its nuclear ini tiative with Nuclear Power Corporation of India in next two months, Bansal said. The IOC scrip surged 1.35 per cent and closed at Rs 376.20 at the BSE.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Rajasthan high court directs police to holdback chargesheet against IndianOil officers  

HC tells police to hold chargesheet in IOC fire case

Daily News & Analysis, Jaipur, August 07, 2010

The Rajasthan high court has directed the city police to holdback filing a chargesheet against the accused officials who were arrested for allegedly being responsible for the inferno at the IndianOil (IOC) terminal in Sitapura last year. The court has, however, said that the police probe into the accident can continue.

The city police had arrested nine IOC personnel, including the then general manager of the Sitapura terminal Gautam Bose, early last month. It was alleged that the negligence of these IOC personnel had led to the conflagration that killed 11 people and destroyed property worth crores of rupees on October 29, 2009.

The accused, who are currently out on bail, have moved the high court to get the FIR against them quashed. It has been argued that none of the accused was present at the accident site when the fire broke out, hence they cannot be called negligent towards duty. The accused had taken the same plea before the trial court too while seeking bails. Though there are three FIRs registered with different police stations over the fire accident, the accused have challenged the FIR filed by general manager of Genus Company, Prit Pal Singh, with the Sanganer Sadar police station.

The single bench of Justice SP Pathak has directed the public prosecutor Piyush Kumar to produce before the court the 'case diary' of police investigations in the matter. Justice Pathak has further ordered that chargesheet in the matter may not be filed without the permission of the court.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

IndianOil buying natural gas from Reliance  

IOC to buy gas from RIL

The IndianOil will soon be buying natural gas from Reliance Industries (RIL) to replace costlier fuels at the Panipat refinery to increase its profits. The IOC is ready with Dadri-Panipat gas pipeline for which natural gas from D6 block in Krishna Godavari (KG) basin, which is being operated by RIL will be made available.

The IOC had planned to convert its feedstock from fossil fuel to natural gas. It was in 2007 that the IOC had been permitted by the Union government to construct a 132-km gas pipeline from Dadri to Panipat at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore.

The corporation will buy 1.6 million cubic metres of natural gas a day from RIL to replace costlier fuels. The IOC currently uses crude oil or fuel oil for operating the refinery. GAIL gas, a subsidiary of GAIL India, will transport the gas.

According to sources in the refinery, an Empowered Group of Ministers had allocated 5.384 mmcmd of gas from KG-D6 to public and private sector refineries against their demand for 22.8 mmcmd.

IOC had demanded 6.58 mmcmd of gas for its Gujarat, Mathura and Panipat refineries, but as refineries were allocated less than one-fourth of its demand, the state-owned firm was given 1.6 mmcmd.

The official said Panipat refinery will be getting about 0.8 mmcmd a day and the rest will be used at Koyali refinery.

The Tribune, New Delhi, August 10, 2010

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Government to raise Rs 24,000 crore by offloading equity in oil companies  

New Delhi, Aug. 10 ::::: If ONGC and Indian Oil Corporation's stake sale come through this fiscal, the Government would have raised about Rs 24,000 crore in less than 12 months by offloading equity in companies under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The Government is likely to further dilute its stake by 5 per cent in ONGC sometime this fiscal.“At the current share price, the stake stale will generate more than Rs 13,000 crore,” Mr R.S. Sharma, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director, told newspersons at the sidelines of an event here.The Government holds 74.14 per cent stake in ONGC.Also on radar is 10 per cent dilution in IOC, in which the Government currently holds 78.92 per cent.

Recently, the Petroleum Secretary, Mr S. Sundareshan, was quoted as saying that the dilution of stake in ONGC and IOC would help raise about Rs 21,000 crore this fiscal. The Department of Disinvestment has sent a note to the Petroleum Ministry asking the Finance Ministry to dilute the Government's stake in ONGC and IOC, he said.Others on the listThe Government is also mulling a stake sale in public sector enterprises such as MMTC Ltd and Shipping Corporation of India.“Government is considering stake sale through public offerings in MMTC Ltd, Coal India Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Shipping Corporation of India, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, Manganese Ore India Ltd and Hindustan Copper India Ltd,” said the Minister of State for Finance, Mr Namo Narain Meena, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.The Cabinet has already given its nod for Government's stake sale in Coal India, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Power Grid Corporation and Hindustan Copper, while the government has already shortlisted merchant bankers to manage MOIL IPO.

The follow-on public offer of 10 per cent stake sale in Engineers India Ltd mopped up Rs 977 crore. In 2009, Oil India Ltd IPO of 11 per cent had raised Rs 2,777 crore.The Department of Disinvestment will bear the brokerage expenses paid to brokers and sub–brokers in all Government public issues. This decision, which is effective April 2010, is aimed at ensuring widest participation of retail investors in Government public issues, an official release said here on Tuesday.The disinvestment department has directed the book running lead managers to pay the brokerage as per a specified time schedule. For issue size up to Rs 1,000 crore, the brokerage has to be paid within 30 days from the day of listing. In the case of issue size more than Rs 1000 crore, the brokerage has to be paid within 45 days from the day of listing, the release added.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Rural Andhra gets 50 more low-cost retail outlets by Indian Oil Corporation  

IOC to add 50 low-cost retail outlets in rural AP

New venture: The Indian Oil Director (Finance), Mr S.V. Narasimhan and Executive Directors, Mr N. Srikumar and Mr D. Ramaswamy at a press conference held at Ravi Rays retail outlet at Vadlapudi in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. —

Visakhapatnam, Aug. 10::::Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will set up 50 more low-cost retail outlets in the rural areas of Andhra Pradesh during the current year under the Kisan Seva Kendra scheme, according to Mr S.V. Narasimhan, Director (Finance). He was talking to reporters at Vadlapudi near hereon Tuesday after participating in a function to distribute merit awards to children of IOC customers at a retail outlet. He said Rs 10 lakh -20 lakh would be needed to set up such rural retail outlets and at present there were 2,800 such outlets in the country - 200 of them in Andhra Pradesh.Seed, fertilisers and groceries would also be sold in such outlets, he added.

Mr N. Sriram Kumar, Executive Director (AP operations), said a new terminal was being set up at Chittoor in the State at a cost of Rs 120 crore. Once the environmental clearance was obtained, the project would be completed within 18-24 months. It would add to the capacity of IOC in the State.He said IOC plans to set up 15-18 urban outlets in the State. A tie-up with Bhagyanagar Gas was also being considered for CNG supply, he added. Under the Rajiv Gandhi LPG scheme, 32-40 more distributors would be appointed in the State.At present, Mr Kumar said the company was having five LPG bottling plants in the State, with a total capacity of 2.50 lakh tonnes per annum. They were working overtime and bottling 3.5 lakh tonnes. Another bottling plant was being considered either in Prakasam or Nellore district.Mr Sukhdev, the dealer, also spoke.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Indian Railways to set up four bio-diesel plants  

Railways to go green with four bio-diesel plants

New Delhi: Indian Railways has planned to set up four bio-diesel plants to reduce its carbon footprint and take forward its experiment with non-conventional form of energy. It is already planting saplings of jatropha, one of the sources of bio-diesel, on pilot basis in partnership with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The plants will mark the entry of railways in production of bio-diesel, however, it will be only for captive use and not for commercial sale of the fuel. The four units will enable the entity in meeting its increasing demand of diesel. As per a new railway policy, 10% bio-diesel has to be mixed with diesel for use in locomotives and therefore railways needs to have a higher stock of bio-fuel with an increase in diesel demand.

The first two plants are to come up by the end of 2012-13 at a total cost of Rs 79 crore. These will be followed by other two plants. “We have planted jatropha on pilot basis on acres of railway land and the plants will be processed in the bio-diesel production units that we have planned,” a senior railway official told FE. The plan to set up the plants have been in the pipeline for at least last 10 years. Railways entered in an agreement with IOC in 2003. As per the tie-up, IOC was to plant, extract and blend the fuel in high-speed diesel. Railways gave 500 hectare land in Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jaipur to the public sector oil firm for planting the saplings, which were expected to give 800 tonne of bio-diesel. “The aim has been to reduce the carbon footprint by using blended diesel in the locomotives and become self-sufficient,” a former financial commissioner said requesting anonymity.

Railways’ dependence on IOC will reduce once the plants are commissioned. The national transporter is also likely to save on costs of procuring the non-conventional fuel. Officials of IOC were not available for comments. Some zonal railways already produce small quantities of bio-fuel from waste vegetable oil collected from hotels. The fuel produced is being utilised in blended form in diesel electric multiple units, light duty road vehicles in workshops. In the last three years, nearly 1.4 lakh litre of bio-fuel has been produced

Praveen Kumar Singh / The Financial Express…newspaper.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Coast Guards spearheading operations of controlling oil spill  

Mumbai, Aug 9 ::: Over 400 tonnes of oil have spilt into the Arabian Sea, following Saturday's accident involving two merchant vessels off the Mumbai's coast, creating an oil slick that has now spread over three kilometres. The Panama-registered vessel MSC Chitra was carrying over 3,000 tonnes of oil when it collided with merchant ship Khalija-III.

Oil stocks :: The Maharashtra Minister for Environment, Mr Suresh Shetty, told newspersons on Monday that “The ship was carrying 2,662 tonnes of heavy oil, 284 tonnes of diesel and 88 tonnes of lubricating oil at the time of the accident. Oil has been leaking from the ship at the rate of about three tonnes an hour. Removing oil from the ship is the top priority of the Coast Guard and other agencies. Due to high tide, the oil slick could come close to the Mumbai coast,” he said. Mr Shetty said the Coast Guards are spearheading operations of controlling the oil spill and have pressed into service six ships and two helicopters. Both the shipping companies have brought in salvage experts from Singapore, who are assisting the Coast Guards in pumping out the remaining oil from the ships, he said.
Coast Guard leads oil spill control effort …from the pages of HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Updates on oil spill in Arabian Sea  

MSC Chitra, a cargo vessel carrying oil and involved in a collision off the Mumbai coast, is tilting precariously on Monday.

Mumbai: While the sea around Mumbai faces a potential environment disaster after an oil spill in the Arabian Sea, the three-day ordeal of containing it came to an end on Monday evening. While the Coast Guard continued chemical spraying to contain the oil slick, the tilting cargo ship MSC Chitra, involved in a collision with another vessel earlier, stabilized. By evening, there was no further oil leak, the Coast Guard said.

“Operation Chitra is over. The ship has been stabilized although it remains tilted at 60° to 70°. Salvage operations are on now. The Coast Guard is monitoring the operations,” Commandant S.S. Dasila told The Hindu over telephone. No more containers are falling off the ship. However, the Maharashtra government says it will take a month for cleanup operations. Over 350 tonnes of oil spilled into the sea. In the case of the BP oil spill, 0.7 to 1.1 million tonnes had poured into the Gulf of Mexico.“The hazardous cargo on MSC Chitra, comprising 31 containers of chemicals and pesticide, is intact on board,” Commandant Dasila said.

Oil spilled from MSC Chitra after the merchant vessel collided with m.v. Khalijia-III off the Mumbai coast on Saturday morning. MSC Chitra had sailed up to four nautical miles into the sea and m.v. Khalijia-III was inbound. Coast Guard ships and aircraft engaged in pollution response indicate almost nil oil spill from MSC Chitra as observed in the evening. Ships continued to monitor the situation. No oil has been spotted on the coastline in the districts of Thane, Navi Mumbai and Raigad. Nine containers which drifted off the Uran coast contain milk powder as reported, according to the Coast Guard. Satish Agnihotri, Director-General of Shipping, told a press conference that floating containers were being retrieved on barge through floating cranes. Equipment from the company Smit Salvage Singapore was engaged in removing the containers. More equipment is expected to arrive in the next two days. “Effective salvage operations can begin only by the end of the month,” he said. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Environment Minister Suresh Shetty conducted an aerial survey.Mr. Shetty told a press conference in the afternoon that there were 1,219 containers on board; 200 to 250 had fallen into the sea with about two tonnes of oil leaking into the water per hour.

Oil leak stops as sinking ship stabilises off Mumbai ……by……….Rahi Gaikwad …in the HINDU NEWSPAPER.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button