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Shale gas is in need of a policy in India  

Tapping shale gas

Sizeable shale gas finds are encouraging. But the government would have to tread carefully between fiscal policy and green concerns.

Oil industry has an adage – while the 20th century belonged to oil, the 21{+s}{+t} century will be for gas - shale gas to be more precise! The US is a prime example of what shale gas can do to gas and oil markets. From a key importer, it is now expected to be a key exporter. In Europe as well, early estimates of shale gas reserves could actually alter international diplomacy. Much like the US and Europe, India too struggles to quench its gas thirst. While the demand for gas defies gravity, supplies are not easily forthcoming — KG basin included. Even when they are, prices act as a hindrance.

It seems, after all, that geological factors might transform India's destiny. Initial tests show that India is endowed with significant shale gas resources. Schlumberger, an international service major, pegs India's initial in-place shale gas reserves at 300 -2100 TCF—much higher than our current gas reserves of about 39.4 TCF according to BP Statistical Review. India suddenly is in the league. Perhaps, it can change the very characteristic of an energy-intensive economy. However, we will have to be prudent. Merely being endowed with a resource will not ensure prosperity for the landlord (Government of India). That would largely be governed by how we choose to monetise the resource.

The Government is serious. The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, in mid-March, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply that the government has initiated action to identify prospective areas of shale gas resources as well as to formulate a policy for its exploration and exploitation. However, the key questions that needs to be answered: Does the government have the necessary institutional capabilities to monetise this resource? Can we expect it to come clean on key fiscal parameters?

Unless we have unambiguous policies, shale gas will merely remain a prospect. Apart from the overall policy framework, it would be imperative to pay special attention to the design of fiscal policy and environmental norms that could possibly internalise the externalities of shale gas development. Thus, success of the Indian shale gas story would largely be a function of our policy.

Fiscal policy

It is imperative that the policy has absolute clarity. The single most crucial factor would be the regulatory freedom on pricing. Today, when a field produces crude oil, the government allows pricing at arm's length. But if the same field produces gas, the government says — I would tell you what's best for you! This already has dissuaded international majors. In the eventuality, if subsidies are inevitable, let the government bear the cost rather than the players. Shale gas, unlike conventional gas, will require substantial interventions from the international majors who have the right technological prowess. Similarly, any end-marketing stipulations would be a no-brainer.

Given the positive externality, the government can extend the tax holiday vis-a-vis its conventional seven-year horizon. In a nutshell, we will have to appease the majors, so that we can retreat from a gas-deficit nation. Shale gas wells, invariably, exhibit an early peak production and then a rapid decline. Moreover, according to the IEA, the variation in productivity from well to well is significantly greater than is usually encountered in conventional reservoirs. Similarly, the interplay between investments, production and cash flow for shale gas is very different vis-a-vis conventional gas. Shale gas development and production is not time-consuming, and players have the potential to act as a swing player. These peculiar characteristics of shale gas will affect the profile of “profit gas”. The government will do well to be more accommodative and devise a dynamic fiscal policy.

Current Indian regulations don't allow companies to produce unconventional oil and gas from licences granted for conventional sources. The new shale gas policy should provide incentives to companies that are developing conventional resources to look for and develop shale resources as well. However, this would require tweaking our existing NELP .

Negative externalities

Perhaps, the biggest challenge would be to address the environmental implications of shale gas development. Environmental externalities of shale gas have been a major impediment to its rapid penetration across regions. Shale gas development is water-intensive. According to preliminary estimates, more than five million gallons of water is required per well. Moreover, shale gas development generates humongous quantities of spent water. Disquietingly, the spent water contains chemical residues and traces of some radioactive elements that occur inside the geological formations.

Re-injection of spent water is one solution; few countries have already halted the further development of shale blocks, it is fraught with risk as contamination of groundwater aquifers is a high probability. While the US Safe Drinking Water Act excluded activities such as injection of fluids in hydraulic fracturing, a key constituent of shale gas development, it is important that we implement best practices. In this regard, the recent Memorandum of Understanding with the US can possibly come to our aid. Specifically for India, the re-injection Act would need amendment. The current re-injection Act requires the re-injected fluid to comply only with respect to suspended solids, oil and grease.

Strangely, it doesn't include dissolved chemicals — a key constituent of spent water. It would also be important that the government mandates companies to disclose the chemical composition, if not the actual formula, of all the chemicals that would be utilised in fracturing. This would help better regulate the environmental implications. Thus, the government would have to tread carefully between fiscal policy and environmental stipulations. The end goal should be to ensure that the policy is not a zero-sum game. Unless these specific sustainable solutions are addressed upfront, it would be yet another case of a regulatory failure. Significant investments have already been committed for shale gas development across regions, and thus, in a way, we are late starters. The government, through the right policy framework, should ensure that we no longer remain in a gas-deficit realm.

Source ………….Abhishek Shukla and Ankur Sharma…..from the pages of HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper.

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Kerosene, Diesel and Petrol Prices in Pakistan March 2011  

Product Price [Pakistani Rs.]

HOBC 90.96

Premium 76.54

High Speed Diesel 82.21

Light Speed Diesel 69.97

Kerosene Oil 74.45


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Tata Power and Sunengy to build floating solar technology  

Tata Power and Sunengy to build floating solar technology

MUMBAI, MARCH 22: Tata Power has entered into a partnership with
Australian solar power company Sunengy Pty Ltd that will allow the
Australian company to build a pilot plant using its low-cost, floating
(on water) solar technology in India by this year-end. Tata Power's
wholly owned Singapore-based subsidiary, Trust Energy, has picked up
equity in Sunengy, but the details of this development were not made

The liquid solar array (LSA) technology effectively turns a dam into a
very large battery, offering free solar storage and opportunity for
improved water resource management. "Moreover, LSA needs no heavy
materials or huge land acquisitions and is effectively cyclone proof,"
said Mr Phil Connor, Sunengy Executive Director and Chief Technology
Officer, also inventor of the technology. The technology uses
traditional concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology – a lens and a
small area of solar cells that tracks the sun throughout the day, like
a sunflower. Floating the LSA on water reduces the need for expensive
supporting structures to protect it from high winds. The lenses
submerge in bad weather and the water also cools the cells which
increases their efficiency and life-span.
Mr Banmali Agrawala, Executive Director, Tata Power said "In our quest
to deliver sustainable energy, Tata Power is consistently investing in
clean and eco-friendly technologies. We have partnered with Sunengy
for a pilot plant in India, which is concentrated photovoltaic solar
technology and floats on water. This nascent technology will be
demonstrated in natural environment; utilises the water surface for
mounting and does not compete with land that can be used for other
purposes."Sunengy Chairman and Executive Director of Business
Development, Mr Peter Wakeman, said Tata Power has partnered Sunengy
for its interest in its patented (LSA) technology.
Mr Wakeman said the primary objective for LSA is to provide industrial
scale electricity via hydropower facilities. The technology could also
be used at mining sites, villages and remote communities which are
currently reliant on diesel generators.
Construction of the pilot plant in India will commence in August 2011.
Sunengy plans to establish a larger LSA system in the NSW Hunter
Valley in mid-2012 before going into full production. Preliminary
tests of units for India would be done at CSIRO Energy Centre in
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Mr Connor said that when LSA is
located on and combined with hydroelectric dams, it provides the
breakthroughs of reduced cost and 'on demand' 24/7 availability that
are necessary for solar power to become widely used.
According to Mr Connor, hydropower supplies 87 per cent of the world's
renewable energy and 16 per cent of the world's power but is limited
by its water resources. LSA installations could match the power output
of a typical hydro dam using less than 10 per cent of its surface area
and supply an additional six to eight hours of power a day. Modelling
by Sunengy shows that a 240 MW LSA system could increase annual energy
generation at the Portuguese hydro plant, Alqueva, by 230 per cent."If
India uses just one per cent of its 30,000 sq km of captured water
with our system, we can generate power equivalent to 15 large
coal-fired power stations,"

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What does ‘oil on a boil' mean for India?  

Who wins, who loses from the oil price spike
By..........ANAND KALYANARAMAN ....from the pages of HINDU BUSINESS
LINE newspaper.

With rising price of crude oil, companies with strong pricing power
will cope better than those that cannot pass on costs.
The recent surge in the price of crude oil (Brent is now around $114 a
barrel) has set the cat among the pigeons. Could there soon be a
repeat (or worse) of July 2008, when prices touched $145 a barrel or
is this just a temporary imbalance? What lies ahead if Saudi Arabia,
the largest among the Middle-Eastern oil exporters, goes the Libya
way? Will the current spike derail the nascent recovery in the
developed nations? How does the tragedy in Japan fit into the evolving
jigsaw? Closer home, what does 'oil on a boil' mean for India, which
imports more than three-fourths of its crude requirement?Amidst all
these imponderables, it is reasonably clear that the surging oil price
will keep high inflation simmering, dilute India's economic growth
prospects and throw the recently budgeted deficit numbers into
disarray. At a more micro level, the impact will be more pronounced in
sectors which produce, process, or use crude oil or its derivatives as
raw material or fuel.
This sector set would encompass, among others, oil and allied segments
(explorers, refiners, service-providers), airlines, tyres,
fertilisers, paints, textiles, and lubricants. In a scenario of rising
input costs, companies with strong pricing power will be better
equipped to deal with the fallout than those that cannot pass on
costs.We ran a screener on sample companies in the above sectors to
check the impact of a cost increase in raw materials, and power, oil
and fuel, on financials and margins during previous periods of
spiralling oil prices. Analysing data for the first three quarters in
calendar 2008 and the last quarter in calendar 2010 — which saw sharp
rallies in crude oil — we also compared the performance of these
companies in these two periods.
Our analysis suggests that public sector oil marketing companies,
airlines and tyre-makers have historically borne the brunt of rising
input prices. On the other hand, sectors such as pure play refiners,
lubricants, paints and textiles may be relatively better positioned to
tide over the crude oil surge. Fertiliser companies have shown mixed
trends. Here's the lowdown:
Airlines hit a fuel air-pocket
Airlines, which were on the recovery path with strong demand and
calibrated supply, may find themselves in a tight spot, not being able
to pass on the increasing cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to
passengers. In 2008, saddled with huge capacity and falling demand,
many airlines had curtailed flights to avoid burgeoning losses from
rising fuel cost. Power, oil and fuel costs had then shot up to 55-65
per cent of sales from the usual 35-50 per cent, and most airlines,
including Jet Airways, sank into the red. Fuel cost pressure has again
returned in the recent period, with ATF prices up around 43 per cent
over the past six months. Though strong demand conditions have helped
cushion the impact to some extent, going forward, airlines may not be
able to pass on the entire cost increase, without fear of losing
customers. This may result in margin pressure.
Tyres: Slippery margins
If the past is anything to go by, tyre companies usually face heavy
margin pressure when confronted with increasing cost of synthetic
rubber and carbon black — raw materials derived from crude oil. For
tyre manufacturers such as Apollo Tyres, CEAT, JK Tyre, and MRF, raw
material as a percentage of sales shot up sharply (by as much as 15
percentage points in some cases) in 2008, and exerted significant
pressure on margins.
High pressure on raw material cost and margins have been seen in the
case of most tyre companies in the recent quarter, due to surge in
price of both natural rubber and crude oil. The difference from 2008
is the strong growth in sales registered by most tyre companies on the
back of buoyancy in the auto sector. The buoyancy, coupled with supply
constraints, have endowed tyre companies with some pricing power over
the past couple of years, though product price increases may lag those
on inputs.
Lubricants: smooth RIDE
To a good extent, lubricant companies such as Castrol, Gulf Oil
Corporation and Tide Water Oil have been able to pass on the
increasing cost of base oil — a key raw material. For instance, in the
first two quarters of 2008 (when crude oil peaked), raw material as a
percentage of sales remained more or less at usual levels, helping
cushion margins. Though margins witnessed some pressure later that
calendar, this was more than made up for in 2009. In the recent
December quarter, market leader Castrol saw some margin pressure (on
sequential basis). However, this is attributable mainly to the spike
in advertising costs, while raw material as a percentage of sales has
remained the same at around 52 per cent. In addition, the sharp
increase in margins over 2009 and 2010 and continued year-on-year
growth in sales and profits provides good buffer, suggesting these
players may withstand pressure from rising raw material cost.
Paints: Volume Hedge
The recent December quarter has seen paint manufacturers such as Asian
Paints, Akzo Nobel, Berger Paints and Kansai Nerolac show some margin
pressure due to increase in price of raw materials, chiefly crude
oil-based inputs. However, with demand conditions being robust,
volumes were strong and overall financial growth was healthy. Many
players, including market leader Asian Paints, resorted to price hikes
to deal with rising costs, though not to the full extent. The
possibility of further price increases to deal with increasing costs
has also been indicated. This, combined with expected volume growth,
should position paint makers comfortably to handle further cost
increases. Margins, though under pressure, should be at reasonable
levels. Even during the crude oil price spike in 2008, most of the
major paint companies put up a good show overall.
Textiles: Strong Fabric
Many textile players such as Indo Rama Synthetics, Century Enka,
Garden Silk Mills, JBF Industries and Nakoda Ltd, who use
petrochemical based inputs, seem to have recorded good pricing power
in the recent December period. Raw material as a percentage of sales
has remained around the same, or increased marginally for most of
these players. Margins have also been steady or even improved. Among
other factors, prevailing high price of cotton seems to have aided
pricing power of petrochemical based textile manufacturers. The
situation is better than in 2008, when margin pressure was felt by
many of these players.
Fertilisers: Mixed formulation
The fertiliser sector, another major user of crude oil-based inputs
such as naphtha, exhibits mixed trends because this is another sector
where subsidy from the government plays a big role. Since all
fertilisers in India are sold below their cost of production, the
government pays a product-wise subsidy based on the prevailing input
costs for each year. Therefore, yes, an upward price spiral of
nitrogenous inputs such as naphtha, ammonia and LNG will escalate
costs for players. However, how much of the brunt players bear depends
on the extent to which the government compensates costs through
For this year, urea manufacturers such as Chambal Fertilisers and
Nagarjuna Fertilisers may get compensated to a significant extent as
they remain on a cost-linked subsidy regime. On the other hand, the
subsidy levels have already been set at a flat import parity-based
price for complex fertiliser makers, ahead of the recent crude oil
surge. Unless the subsidy is revised or they are able to hike prices,
players such as Coromandel International, Zuari Industries and RCF may
face margin pressures from spiralling inputs. Fertiliser companies may
chart their individual paths based on relative business models and
strengths, rather than follow specific sector trends

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Essar Energy reports 28 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the year 2010  

Essar Energy posts strong 2010 numbers on
better refining margin Ram ....from the pages of the HINDUBusiness Line
.London, March 21:
Revenues will continue to grow in 2011, despite the soaring cost of
oil, Essar Energy said as the firm reported a 28 per cent rise in
pre-tax profits for the year 2010 — its first full-year results since
last year's IPO in London. Pre-tax profits of $365.5 million were some
25 per cent ahead of consensus as refining sales volumes grew, and
gross refining margins rose to $6.6 on a barrel from $4.2 the year
before. "2010 was a transformational year," said Mr Prashant Ruia,
vice-chairman of Essar Energy, the refiner and power generation, which
raised $1.8 billion in last year's listing, alongside an additional
$550 million through a convertible bond issue in February. "We are
well funded."
Essar Energy, which signed an exclusivity agreement to buy Royal Dutch
Shell's Stanlow refinery in the UK last month, expects the deal to be
signed within 10 days (before a March-end deadline). Shell's
consultations with staff were progressing well, the chief executive,
Mr Naresh Nayyar, told a conference call, adding that Essar expected
to take control of the plant in the second half of the year. When
asked if the firm had been hit by Iran's decision to pull out of the
Asian Clearing Unit, Mr Nayyar said they expected no disruption to
supplies of oil from the country — one of the firm's biggest suppliers
— and that the agreement remained in place. However, market sentiment
in London was hit by news of new delays to approval for clearing
forest for its Mahan, Chakla, Ashok Karkata coal blocks — which were
to supply its Mahan 1 and Tori Power stations. The firm said that as a
result, it would be sourcing coal from external sources for the
commissioning of the Mahan 1 coal fired power project in September.
There was also news of delays in its refining and marketing business,
as the firm pushed back the start-up of three plans — Salaya 1, Mahan
and Vadinar P2 by a quarter respectively. Salaya 1, a 1,200-MW plant,
has been hit by delays during the monsoon season, and will start up in
the third quarter, while the other two will begin operations in the
final quarter of the year. EBITDA at the firm's power division were up
37 per cent, but fell marginally to $515.5 million from 514.7 million
in refining and marketing — which the firm attributed to higher
operating costs, and lower foreign exchange gains. Losses at the
exploration and production division fell to $1.1 million, from $8
million the year before.

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Nepal hikes petrol price  

Fuel prices raised in Nepal

Kathmandu, Mar 13 (PTI) Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) today hiked the prices of petroleum products due to rise in international prices.

The state-owned company has increased the prices of petrol, domestic aviation fuel and international aviation fuel by Rs nine per litre, Rs 10 per litre and USD 130 per 1000 litres respectively.

With this increment by the NOC, which has monopoly to sell petroleum products imported from India, the price of petrol has touched Rs 97 and and the price of international aviation fuel has reached USD 1075 per 1000 litres.

However, there are no changes in the prices of kerosene and diesel.

"The prices of the petroleum products have been hiked due to rise in prices in the international market triggered by the Libya unrest," NOC spokesman Muknda Dhungel said.

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Decontrolling Diesel  

Freeing diesel the only option: Montek

(Courtesy: The Economic Times, New Delhi, March 14, 2011)

There are a lot of things that bother the country's chief planner, Montek Singh Ahluwalia . Topping that list is the need for reviewing existing policies and tweaking them to produce better performance. He says the Planning Commission is sometimes considered a nuisance as it has challenged the way things are done. Because the government works in silos, even those changes that everyone knows are needed become difficult to implement. This needs to change, says the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission. Excerpts from an interview to Devika Banerji and Vinay Pandey.

There is a growing divergence between growth estimates of experts and analysts, with most treating the 9% GDP growth target in FY12 with scepticism. What is your take on growth prospects?

The Planning Commission has said that it would like to get 9% in the next year (after) having done 8.6% in the current year. The Finance Ministry is saying the same thing in the Budget and so is Dr C Rangarajan. There is bound to be a range of uncertainty around any estimate but I do think some of the analysts are too pessimistic. They are perhaps over-influenced by the recent slowdown in IIP (index of industrial production), and a bit over-pessimistic about the events in the Middle East. Developments in the Middle East are indeed worrying but it is reasonable to assume that the situation will stabilise. The effect of events in Libya on the global oil market can easily be offset by Saudi Arabia. We are all making the assumption that there won't be a big surge in oil prices and they will remain around a $100-110 per barrel.

At that price India can manage to grow at 9% next year, but I agree there is a uncertainty with more downside than upside. I do not expect growth to be above 9% and it will not be a huge surprise if it is 8.5%. I should add that given global uncertainties if India does even 8 % next year, it will be regarded globally as a pretty good performance. We certainly hope to do better.

Despite some moderation in the inflation numbers, inflation is still being seen as a big threat...

Inflation remains a continuing concern. I think the government deserves credit for inflation having moderated very substantially from the double-digit level a few weeks ago but we are not in a position to say we are comfortable. The good news is that inflation is clearly moderating and I believe it will moderate further. I feel that we could end March somewhere around 7%. We should aim to bring it down to 6% in the next year. The world is not comfortable with 6% while we have been comfortable with 5-6%. Historically, inflation in India has been higher than in industrialised countries. The real worry is that we may not be able to maintain our inflation target if oil prices go through the roof.

If oil prices continue to rise, is freeing diesel prices the only policy option before the government?

The Planning Commission has been consistently of the view that energy prices should be decontrolled and India should learn to live with global energy prices. We could have a targeted subsidy, if necessary, for the poor, but the burden of high oil prices in global markets has to be passed on. I think knowledgeable people agree with this proposition in principle, but it is, of course, difficult to implement. The government has decontrolled diesel "in principle" but we have also said we will implement it in a phased manner. It's obviously not realistic to talk about decontrolling diesel prices on the eve of an election. However, looking ahead I believe decontrolling diesel is the right policy. We do not really have an alternative that is going to work.

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Shell Gas LPG (Pakistan) to operate as Burshane LPG (Pakistan) after acquired by OPI Gas  

Shell Gas (Pakistan) to operate as Burshane LPG

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shell Gas LPG (Pakistan) Limited would operate as Burshane LPG (Pakistan) Limited after being acquired by OPI Gas (Private) Limited.OPI has acquired 67.91 percent voting shares of Shell Gas LPG from the Shell International Petroleum Company Limited.Under a LPG de-branding agreement, OPI will gradually discontinue usage of LPG trademarks and manifestations owned by Shell. The name change, intended to gain advantage from the Burshane brand, is subject to the approval of the Registrar of Companies.

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Government is considering plan to abolish 5 per custom duty  

Centre planning to abolish 5 per cent Customs duty on crude oil

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Indian Central government is considering a plan to abolish the 5 per custom duty, which is levied on crude oil, if the prices of the commodity keep on rising towards the recent high of June 2008 levels. All the public sector oil companies were hopeful that in union budget of FY 2012 the government will remove the custom duty on oil just like they did in FY 2009 keeping in the mind the increasing prices of oil in the global markets. However, the government said that if the prices of crude oil will keep on increasing, they will take appropriate action. The rising prices of oil products is putting immense pressure on the profitability of domestic oil companies as apart from petrol, the prices of other products like diesel and gas are still controlled by the government. However, implementing this decision would be difficult for the government as duty on crude oil contributes approximately 20 per cent of the revenues generated in custom revenues.

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Hundreds Killed in Tsunami After 8.9 Japan Quake  

A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii and warnings blanketed the Pacific, as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast.
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Death Toll Surpasses 1600, 9500 Missing In One Region  

The Fukushima nuclear plant is the focus of the world's attention right now, but the impact from the underlying earthquake and tsunami continues to grow.According to Kyodo Wire, the latest death estimates top 1600.Meanwhile, the region continues to get buffetted by aftershocks, prompting ongoing warnings for people in coastal areas.

Read more:

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Solar energy  

Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy. It does not belong to anybody and is, therefore, free. It is also the most important of the non-conventional sources of energy because it is non-polluting and, therefore, helps in lessening the greenhouse effect.

To read more:


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Latest Energy Price Updates  

To read the full details of price list click here:

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Earthquake and Tsunami induces Oil Refinery Inferno in Japan  

more video

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ONGC share FPO deferred till second half of the year  

The government has deferred the share sale of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to the second half of 2011 following a faux pas in the appointment of independent directors on the company board.

However, the petroleum ministry on Thursday, cleared the appointment of T Chandrasekharan, professor at Indian Institute of Technology, as an independent director on the board of ONGC to meet the requirement of capital market regulator Sebi. The appointment will now have to be cleared by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The government plans to sell 5%, or 427.77 million equity shares, through the follow-on public offer (FPO) to raise up to R12,000 crore.

“The share sale was to open on April 5, but has now been deferred. It is now likely in the second quarter of 2011-12,” an official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

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Petrol prices india during last 10 years  

Here is a list indicating Petrol/gasoline prices in India during the last 10 years, 2002-2011

The first column indicates month & date
Second column indicates  Delhi(price in Rs in Delhi)
Third column- Kolkata
4th column-Mumbai
5th column Chennai.

It means, on 16th January 2011, the Petrol/Gasoline prices in Delhi was Rs58.37, in Kolkata 62.5, in Mumbai 63.08 and in Chennai the price was 63.36 Rs.


January 16, 2011 58.37 62.5 63.08 63.36

December 16, 2010 55.87 59.9 60.46 60.65

November 09, 2010 52.91 56.81 57.35 57.44

November 02, 2010 52.59 56.47 57.01 57.09

October 17, 2010 52.59 56.44 57.01 57.09

September 21, 2010 51.83 55.69 56.25 56.31

September 08, 2010 51.56 55.4 55.97 56.02

June 26, 2010 51.43 55.32 55.88 55.92

April 01, 2010 47.93 51.67 52.2 52.13

February 27, 2010 47.43 51.15 51.68 51.59

July 02, 2009 44.72 48.25 48.76 48.58

January 29, 2009 40.62 44.05 44.55 44.24

December 06, 2008 45.62 47.16 49.8 49.66

November 06, 2008 50.62 52.2 55.04 55.07

July 16, 2008 50.62 52.2 55.04 55.07

June 06, 2008 50.56 52.2 55.88 55.07

May 24, 2008 45.56 48.98 50.54 49.64

February 15, 2008 45.52 48.95 50.51 49.61

June 06, 2007 43.52 46.86 48.38 47.44

May 16, 2007 42.85 46.86 48.38 47.44

March 01, 2007 42.85 46.9 48.41 47.48

February 16, 2007 42.85 46.92 48.45 47.51

November 30, 2006 44.85 48.99 50.58 49.67

June 20, 2006 46.85 51.07 52.71 51.83

June 05, 2006 47.51 51.07 53.5 51.83

September 06, 2005 43.49 46.9 49.16 47.49

June 20, 2005 40.49 43.79 45.93 44.26

April 05, 2005 37.99 40.89 43.23 41.25

April 01, 2005 37.99 40.89 43.23 41.25

November 15, 2004 37.84 40.89 43.23 41.25

November 04, 2004 39 42.1 44.49 42.51

July 31, 2004 36.81 39.83 42.15 40.15

June 15, 2004 35.71 38.69 40.96 38.96

December 31, 2003 33.7 36.61 38.83 36.79

December 12, 2003 32.7 35.57 37.74 35.71

October 16, 2003 31.7 34.5 36.66 34.36

August 31, 2003 32.4 35.26 37.42 35.39

June 01, 2003 30.3 31.81 35.14 33.11

May 16, 2003 30.4 31.91 35.25 33.22

April 26, 2003 31.49 33 36.43 34.4

April 16, 2003 32.49 34 37.25 35.48

April 01, 2003 33.49 35 35.25 36.39

March 16, 2003 33.49 35 38.59 36.39

March 01, 2003 23.1 33.61 37.08 34.89

February 01, 2003 30.71 32.21 35.58 33.99

January 16, 2003 30.33 31.84 35.18 32.99

January 03, 2003 29.93 31.44 34.73 32.55

December 01, 2002 28.91 30.42 33.63 31.45

November 16, 2002 29.57 31.01 34.23 32.05

November 01, 2002 30.26 31.7 34.98 32.8

October 17, 2002 30.24 31.68 34.95 32.07

October 01, 2002 29.91 31.35 34.42 32.42

September 16, 2002 29.66 31.1 34.15 32.16

September 01, 2002 29.2 30.64 33.65 31.66

August 16, 2002 29 29.44 33.44 31.44

August 01, 2002 29.18 29.63 33.64 31.64

July 01, 2002 29.18 29.63 33.64 31.64

June 16, 2002 29.18 29.63 33.72 31.3

June 04, 2002 29.94 29.39 33.45 31.05

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List of Petrol Pumps in Faridabad  


Sector-16, Faridabad


Raj Auto Service

Nit, Batamorh, Faridabad

5232214, 5235312

Auto Supply Co.

Delhi-Mathura Highway,Faridabad

91-5285495, 5224228

Moti Ram & Sons

Old Mathura Road, Palwal.

01275-33572 Auto Supply Co.

Old Mathura Road, Hodal.


Sheela S/Stn

Sohna Road, Dhauj (Faridabad)


Hp Centre

Sector-20b, Faridabad

Sunder S/Stn

Near Bata Couwk, Faridabad

5413810, 5416268, 5427879

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Latest Auto LPG prices in metro cities today  

On : 07/03/2011

 Delhi 35.03

Kolkata 37.51

Mumbai 37.86

Chennai 38.02

For other dates visit

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List of auto LPG dealers, stations in Delhi NCR  

Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

Dealer: Kundanlal Service Station

HPC Petrol Pump, Shahdara-ISBT Road, Shastri Park, Delhi- 110 053

Phone:011- 22192100 / 22193100

Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Ahuwalia S/Stn

Near Haldiram Mathura Road


Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Auto Yard

Mathura Road, Near Apollo Hospital


Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: CM Enterprises



Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Dalip S/Stn

Near Hotel Radisson NH-8, Mahipalpur


Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Jubliee R/O

Near IOC LPG Bottling Plant,Tikrikalan


Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Khyber S/Stn.

Opp.Gurudwara, Moti Bagh, Outer Ring Road

Phone:011-24677937 / 981152225

Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Rajapath Motors

Geeta Colony

Phone:011-22049223/ 22457830

Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Rajasthan Highways

NH-8 Kaparshera Border

Phone:011-51685238, 9811038654

Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Sabharwal S/Stn.

Sector 5,RK Puram


Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: Sethi S/Stn.

Mangolpuri, Outer Ring Road


Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

Dealer: HP Auto Care Centre

Najabgarh road, Adjacent Moti Nagar Police Station, Moti Nagar, New Delhi-110 015


Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

Dealer: Victory Service Station

G.T.Road, Near Julf-E-Bengal, Opp. Sahni Factory

Phone:011-22116868 / 6969

Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

Dealer: Anand Auto Service

Old GT Road, Near Azadpur, Delhi

Company: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL)

Dealer: IBP Auto Service

Masjid Moth, Delhi


Company: Indian OIl Corporation Ltd.(IOCL)

Dealer: M/s. Scorpio Petro

Sector 18 A Ph-II, Dwarka, Delhi


Company: Indian OIl Corporation Ltd.(IOCL)

Dealer: Jai Banglamukhi Eco Fuel Station

Road No.43, Zone H-4, Pitampura, New Delhi

Phone:(M) 98108 58371

Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corp.Ltd.




Company: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL)

Dealer: ServiCircle

Ashram Chowk, Delhi Mathura Ringroad crossing, Ashram Delhi

Company: Indian Oil

Dealer: Sangamesh R Kalyani

Near Goa Hotel, Kalyani Nagar, Tank bund Road

Phone:08472/274718, Mob : 9886166614

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Bacteria for biofuels  

Chemists engineer bacteria for bio-fuels


Several chemists at the University of California (UC), Berkeley have engineered bacteria for biofuels. More specifically, they have created bacteria that will churn out a gasoline-like biofuel at about 10 times the rate of competing microbes. The researchers believe this breakthrough could soon provide “green” gas. The research was published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology and authored by Assistant Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley Michelle C.Y. Chang.

The research was based on the bacteria Clostridium, where some of the species produce n-butanol, a drop-in fuel many companies are currently pursuing as a replacement for gas and diesel. Many researchers have genetically altered the bacteria to boost its ability to produce n-butanol while others have taken other routes such as plucking enzymes from the bacteria and inserted them into other microbes including E. coli. The results have only provided limited n-butanol production.

Researchers emulated the same enzyme pathway into E. coli, but replaced two of the five enzymes with look-alikes from other organisms. This avoided one of the problems other researchers have had: n-butanol being converted back into its chemical precursors by the same enzymes that produce it. The result was a new genetically altered E. coli strain that produced nearly five grams of n-butanol per litre, about the same as the native Clostridium and one-third the production of the best genetically altered Clostridium, but about 10 times better than current industrial microbe systems.

“We are in a host that is easier to work with, and we have a chance to make it even better,” Chang said. “We are reaching yields where, if we could make two to three times more, we could probably start to think about designing an industrial process around it. We were excited to break through the multi-gram barrier, which was challenging.”

Apart from all these factors, qualities like resilience, dedication, perseverance, sincerity, and willingness to take challenge are also common among successful women leaders and drawing from such qualities, great women leaders have strengthened their presence in respective fields.

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Oh no! Another petrol price hike ?  

Ahead of assembly elections in four states, the government may manage to hold back an increase in diesel and cooking gas prices, but is unlikely to postpone a hike in the prices of petrol, a fuel that stands de-regulated. State-owned oil companies, led by Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bh arat Petroleum, could announce an increase in petrol prices by month-end, a senior oil company official said.

Sources in the oil companies said the hike could be between Rs2 and Rs3 a litre. It may be announced after the Parliament session, expected to end on March 25.

The officer said despite high global crude prices, they couldn’t announce a hike. They were told it could create a panic among consumers, already battling inflation. He, however, said on the back of high crude prices, a hike in fuel prices, especially petrol, had become “absolutely necessary”.

Source :

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Neste Oil openes world's biggest renewable diesel plant in Singapore  

Giant renewable diesel plant opens in Singapore

(Courtesy: The Hindu,New Delhi, March 09, 2011)

Finnish firm Neste Oil on Tuesday opened the world's biggest renewable diesel plant in Singapore, taking advantage of massive palm oil production in nearby Malaysia and Indonesia.

Clean diesel produced from the euro 550 million ($769 million) plant using feedstocks such as palm oil and animal fat will be marketed in Europe, Canada and the U.S., which already have legislation in place supporting biofuels. “Asia in the next five years is not going to be a big market for us,'' Neste Oil Corp President and Chief Executive Matti Lievonen said at the plant's opening. With an annual capacity of 800,000 tonnes, the Singapore facility is the biggest renewable diesel plant in the world, Neste Oil said.

The plant produces Neste Oil's patented NExBTL renewable diesel, which, the company says, is the cleanest diesel fuel in the world, although it is more expensive than conventional diesel. NExBTL can be used in all diesel engines and significantly reduces exhaust emissions compared with regular diesel, the company says. About 45 per cent of the facility's feedstock is now palm oil from neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia, while the balance e comes from other by-products of the palm oil production process and waste animal fat from Australia and New Zealand.

The palm oil industry in Malaysia and Indonesia has come under pressure from environmental campaigners who believe it causes deforestation and threatens species such as orangutans and rhinos. Neste Oil said that its Singapore plant had obtained an International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) certificate from Germany, guaranteeing that it has met tough environment standards.

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Luminous Power launches new TVC campaign “Sahi Jodi – Jis Pe Desh Kare Bharosa  

Luminous Power launches new TVC campaign “Sahi Jodi – Jis Pe Desh Kare Bharosa” featuring Sachin Tendulkar in its corporate advertisements for Luminous inverters and batteries. The company has also announced aggressive marketing and branding plans to reach out to millions of existing and potential consumers in national and global market with the unique product offering and Sachin’s association as Luminous Brand Ambassador.

With the launch of the TVC campaign for its inverters and batteries, Luminous is riding on the World Cup brand wagon and reaching out to millions of cricket fans. Luminous brand has a proven track record for excellent product reliability & for providing value to its customers through constant innovations & improvement in its offering. Luminous has already launched their three TVC’s earlier with Sachin, this campaign “Sahi Jodi” talks about how effectively Luminous inverter and battery work together in synergy to enhance the performance and increase the durability of the products.

The TVC showcases the importance of having the right combination of products to derive the optimum level of efficiency, performance and strength. The film showcases the iconic batsman and his powerful relationship with his bat so as to dramatize and put across the fact that only Luminous battery and Luminous inverter, work in tandem to increase the back-up and battery life by 40%. The campaign is conceptualized by the creative agency of Luminous – Meridian.

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Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL) narrowed down site suitable for the commissioning of 50 MW tidal power project  

State-run power utility Gujarat Power Corporation (GPCL) today said it has narrowed down on a site suitable for the commissioning of 50 MW tidal power project.

This will be the first big tidal power project to be ever commissioned in the country, as only a demonstration project for setting up 3.75 MW capacity tidal energy power plant is being executed by National Hydro Power Corporation in Sunderban region of West Bengal.

GPCL had inked a MoU with the UK based Atlantis Resource Corporation in 2009 Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit for commissioning of tidal power projects in the state.

"We had conducted a study for commissioning of 250 MW of tidal power projects in Gujarat during which two sites were found feasible. The Corporation has now narrowed down to a site in Mandvi near Gulf of Kutch for commissioning of 50 MW project," a GPCL official told PTI.

"The tidal power project requires huge area along the coastline which is free from defence clearances and at the same time doesn''t falls within any port limits, so site selection is a tedious exercise," he said.

It costs about Rs 15 crore for per mega watt of tidal power generation. However, the cost varies depending upon the technology used and the velocity of tidal current available at the site.

"The sites for another 200 MW tidal power project is still being explored with our joint venture partners. A possibility of expanding the project size from 50 MW to over 100 MW in Mandvi cannot be ruled out as its a feasible location for such type of project," GPCL official said.

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German Government-owned development bank KfW today signed a loan agreement worth Euro200 million with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA).  

Germany's KfW, India's IREDA sign Euro200 million agreement

New Delhi, Mar 8 : To promote development of renewable energy in India, German Government-owned development bank KfW today signed a loan agreement worth Euro200 million with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA).

The agreement was signed by Debashish Majumdar, CMD, IREDA with Uwe Ohls, Senior Vice President, KfW in the presence of Christian Schlaga, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Federal Republic of Germany, and of Prabodh Saxena, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of India's Ministry of Finance.

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No increase in Diesel price till May  

New Delhi: Consumers might be spared an increase in diesel prices for the time being. The reason: An already high inflation makes such a move risky for the government in view of the coming state elections. The elections will be over in mid-May.

The decision to decontrol diesel prices was yet not off the government's agenda, said afinance ministry official. However, he said it would be taken up only after the elections.

Rising crude oil prices have become a headache for the government, as they put pressure on inflation and fiscal deficit (in the form of higher oil subsidy).

While the government decontrolled petrol prices in June last year, it is reluctant to allow oil companies to pass on the full burden of high crude oil prices to consumers.

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Tata BP solar adds 32 Mw solar PV production line  

Tata BP Solar has added a new production line of 32 Mw of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells at its plant in Bangalore. With the addition of the plant, the total cell manufacturing capacity of the company is now 84 Mw, with a module capacity of 125 Mw. The company had initiated this expansion through a US $100 million investment during 2008.
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NTPC to float bulk tender for nine more projects  

Country’s largest power genrator, NTPC Ltd, is likely to get Cabinet approval to invite tenders worth Rs 18,000 crore for procurement of nine supercritical units of 800 Mw capacity each.The bulk order of boiler and turbine units packages of an overall 7,200 Mw capacity is aimed at phased induction of the new supercritical technology in the power sector. Supercritical plants burn less coal to generate same amount of power and are thus considered environment friendly.
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NTPC to order Rs 3250 crore of equipment by March  

NTPC Ltd, the country’s biggest power producer, plans to place orders for generators worth at least Rs 3,285 crore by 31 March 2011, as it accelerates capacity addition to help reduce blackouts.NTPC and its ventures have plants that can generate 32,694 Mw, according to the company’s website. The utility is targeting 75,000 Mw by March 2017.
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Ten Indian Energy companies in Platts Top 250  

The country’s representation in the Top 250 roster has remained fairly consistent over the last few years. India’s Reliance Industries moved from fourth to third place among Asian companies and placed 13th globally with a 27% compound growth rate (CGR). ONGC rose from fifth to fourth place on the regional list and to 18th place globally.
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Oil and natural gas sector  

The oil industry can be divided into three major components: upstream, midstream and downstream. The upstream industry includes exploration and production activities, hence is also referred as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. The midstream industry processes, stores, markets and transports commodities including crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) like ethane propane and butane and sulphur. The downstream industry includes oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum products distributors, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies.
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Women as solar power entrepreneurs  

An initiative is underway to empower the women of the Sunderbans as entrepreneurs of solar power. This pilot project provides training and capacity building on several techno-commercial aspects of solar power to the Sunderbans women.
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Energy Use in India: How are we doing?  

The energy sector absorbs the largest chunk of resources invested in the Indian economy, and also accounts for the largest share of the national imports bill. All these resources go towards supplying increasing amounts of energy to the Indian economy, though there continues to be a deficit in both energy supply and in access to supply.
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Energy for the poor  

One of the major steps for a pro-active, time bound and concerted action to reduce poverty was when the leaders of 189 countries met in 2000 and agreed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The fact that the first goal aims to reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day, not only gives poverty precedence but it also underpins the other seven. Past studies have shown that poor access to modern energy services, particularly electricity, exacerbates poverty and contributes to its perpetuation. Hence a key issue for meeting the MDGs requires attention not only to the eight goals, but also to their inter-relationship with energy.
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BPCL to start solar generation in 3 mths  

BPCL is looking at making Punjab a major hub for producing non-conventional energy, equating Punjab with Uttar Pradesh, where BPCL has launched a pilot project to produce biodiesel from Jatropha. In Punjab the company is looking at harnessing solar power.
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Clinton Foundation mulls world's largest solar project in Gujarat  

The US-based Clinton Foundation is in talks with the Gujarat government to set up an 'Integrated Solar City' project with a capacity to generate a 5000 MW over a period of time. The project, tagged as one of the largest FDI (foreign direct investment) into the state, will also be a landmark project as the cost of power generation is likely to be 70% less - around Rs 200 billion - than the conventional cost of generation, say sources close to the development.
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A case for hydrodrive electronic catalytic convertor  

A way out of the oil crisis

The oil price spiral arising from the ongoing events in the Middle East will have a severe effect on India. The international price of crude oil is about to cross $120 per barrel from the $80 per barrel a few months ago. The consequences for India will be spread across several sectors of our economy and adversely affect the lives of millions of people. Some of these are obvious. The imported price of crude will cast a heavy burden on our foreign exchange resources and the domestic cost of energy will go up, thus affecting agricultural and transport sectors. Government subsidies to the oil companies and the inflation rate will also shoot up.

Obviously, the most important step we can take is to reduce petroleum consumption . If consumption is reduced in this sector, transport costs in other sectors like food, consumer goods, etc will benefit. So, we have to aim at reducing oil usage in this sector. In this regard, the government needs to take a few important steps. The largest consumer of petroleum products, that is diesel and petrol, is the transport sector.

A gadget called the hydrodrive electronic catalytic convertor has been in the market for the last few years. It has won the Best Asian Gold Award in 2001. It has obtained patents in India, the UK Canada and the Philippines . The Indian invention has been recognised and reported in scientific papers in Temple University, MIT of the US. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Board had submitted an eight-page report to the Central Pollution Control Board after testing the gadget on state-run buses. The average saving in consumption of petrol and diesel transport vehicles by the direct use of hydrodrive is about 10%.

The present method of testing and certifying the mileage of motor vehicles is misleading . The tests are done with test fuel of about 100 octane number, which is not available anywhere in India. The commercial fuel at the outlets has only about 85 octane number. Moreover, the test drive is done at a steady speed on smooth level roads with no traffic lights or stoppage. So, when the so-called kilometre per litre (KMPL) is shown as 23, the actual will be around 11 or 12. The further research on the gadget has brought even more satisfying results. Using the hydrodrive device can result in 25% saving in fuel in industrial boilers and diesel generating sets. This device is actually being operated in a factory in Tamil Nadu. This has been visited by reputed scientists, including former President Abdul Kalam.

This process is not just mixing oil and water. Hydrodrive emulsifies the oil-water mixture by the patented nanotechnology process and alters the composition of the fuel before combustion . In the case of transport vehicles, the emulsification can be brought about on board by fitting the modified version of hydrodrive. The practical ways of implementing the proposal can be devised by the government by taking a few decisions in the national interest.

One, vehicle manufacturers can be given a 10% reduction in excise duty if they install hydrodrive in their new vehicles. By equipping this device, they can save on the cost of installing exhaust catalytic converters that cost four times and have a limited life, unlike hydrodrive that can last for ten years. The hydrodrive gadget has been proved to be capable of reducing pollution by 70%.Lesser urban pollution from transport vehicles can save a lot of expenditure on healthcare.

Two,for existing vehicles,retrofitting can be undertaken in dealer and company outlets and oil companies can give petrol and diesel coupons for half the cost of retrofitting and claim the benefit from the government,which,in turn,will be saving on subsidies for oil companies.Retrofitting is a one-time expenditure.Three,for stationary applications in industrial boilers and diesel generators,up to 25% of the cost of retrofitting can be shared by the oil companies giving oil coupons as a one-time sharing of the cost of fitting the device.

Four,with the decrease in oil costs,there will be a reduction in the rate of inflation. Five,with oil imports likely to touch.40 lakh crore,even a 10% reduction on imports will save the country.4 lakh crore in foreign exchange. For a detailed examination of the proposals made in this article and for their implementation,a group of secretaries of the finance,petroleum,transport and environment ministries can be entrusted with the task to report to the government within a time-bound programme.

(The author is By G V Ramakrishna, former Union secretary, petroleum ministry)

(Courtesy: The Economic Times, New Delhi, March 07, 2011)

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Reliance Power Signs $8.3bn Deal With Shanghai Electric Company  

Anil Ambani led Reliance Power has signed a contract worth $8.3 billion with Hong Kong based Shanghai Electric Company (SEC) for generation equipment supplies. Apart from that, it has also sought an MoU for $12 billion financing from Chinese institutions and banks.This is the world's single-largest order for key components such as boiler, turbine and generator for coal-fired power plants in India. Reliance Power has now total contract order of $10 billion with the SEC. The current order is sufficient to produce 23,700 mw of power.
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BP Expects To Incur 40 Billion Dollars Charges Over Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill  

The British oil major BP expects to suffer almost 40 billion dollars charges related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company said on Tuesday. However, the company announced some profit for the ongoing quarter.The company reported a net profit of 1.785 billion dollars for the third quarter after a loss of 16.9 billion dollars during the second quarter of this year.BP has already taken total estimated charges of 39.9 billion dollars (28.6 billion euros) including 7.7 billion dollars during Q3 related to that hazardous oil spill in Gulf of Mexico.
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Coal India Shares Up 40% On First Day Of Trading  

Shares in state-run Coal India jumped nearly 40% on the first day of trading on the Mumbai stock market as investors showed more interest in investing in the world's biggest coal company.Last month, the government sold 10% stake in Coal India banking 3.4 billion dollars.The shares rose by 38.7% to Rs 340 in morning trade from the issue price of Rs 245.The strong debut of Coal India shares has prompted the government to divest sales of some parts shares of some other state-owned firms.
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Essar Oil To Double Capacity In Gujarat Refinery  

Essar Oil, the Ruias controlled energy firm, has planned to double the capacity of its refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat to 20 million tonnes in the next two years.The refinery is currently processing 14 million tonnes of crude, the company said.The company was working to expand the capacity to 18 million tonnes, an official added."As on October 31, the Phase-I expansion (to 18 million tonnes) was 72% complete and is on track for mechanical completion by March 2011, with the exception of two units that are delayed by a quarter. The company has now decided to further expand the refinery's capacity by two million tonnes more to 20 million tonnes," the company said.
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Power Grid Corporation FPO Retail Subscription At 3.18 Times  

Power Grid Corporation of India was oversubscribed by 14.37 times as on 12th November, 2010, which was the last day of bidding. The portion of Retail Individual Investors (RII) was subscribed 3.18 times, which is more than the retail subscription to Coal India’s IPO. However, Coal India’s IPO was priced at Rs. 225-245.As of Friday, the follow-on public offer (FPO) had obtained bids for 1209.96 crore shares while only 84.17 crore was on offer.
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Shale gas in India - an excellent news in the midst of shameful scandals  

India’s first natural gas well targeted at shale has been drilled by ONGC and the whisper numbers are already in. The well was a success and geologists and engineers are already pegging the country’s resources at somewhere between 600 and 2,000 trillion cu ft (tcf) of potential gas. That is equal to about two centuries’ worth of gas at the country’s current consumption rate. Platts has been covering the shale ‘revolution’ for more than five years in the US.

If India’s experience parallels that of the US, a few things would happen quickly in the next five years. The first is psychological: like the US, India would transform its ‘gas state of mind’ from thinking that it is chronically short of natural gas resources to seeing itself as a natural gas powerhouse. The first part of this change will most likely be seen in the estimates of India’s natural gas resources, just as occurred in the US. In 2007, Platts editors were sitting in a conference room in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hotel when Terry Engelder, a Pennsylvania State University professor and the socalled ‘father’ of the Marcellus Shale field — now thought to be the world’s second-largest gas basin behind Iran’s Pars field — surprised everyone.

He said that after looking at early drilling results from independent producers, he was going to change his estimate of the field’s gas in place. Dr Engelder, who spent his career studying the geology of the Marcellus, had originally estimated that the Marcellus contained 15 tcf of gas in a field stretching diagonally southwest across the US states of New York, Pennsylvania , West Virginia and Ohio. That afternoon, he changed the game: the Marcellus, he said, had 500 tcf of gas ready to be recovered. And with that announcement, the race was on.

Landsmen patrolled the farms and villages of rural Pennsylvania , signing farmers to cheap leases of $50 per acre, leases that now sell for thousands of dollars as ‘supermajors’ such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell buy into plays they neglected in the last decade.

First lesson learnt:

The gas reserve numbers will get larger, not smaller. Shale rock is fairly common but the countries that can capitalise on the resource , which requires an industrial scale of drilling, are not Poland or Germany, but rather continent-sized countries with legal and environmental regimes that cover hundreds of square miles of territory. In other words: India, China and the US. Only those countries have feasible ability to scale up shale gas production and its thousands of wells.

Second lesson learnt:

Decades-long pipeline projects, originally designed to bring gas from huge resources to countries chronically short of gas pale by comparison and fade to the background or die. In other words, most likely, the India-Pakistan-Iran pipeline will die. Based on the US experience , it would appear to make no sense when India has plenty of gas. For example, the US parallel, the Alaskan Gas Pipeline — designed to bring natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to the lower 48 states — is now dead in its tracks.

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