Centre mulls allocating 2 more blocks in Kerala-Konkan basin

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 19 (UNI) Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora today said the Centre was considering to allow oil exploration in two more blocks in Kerala coast in addition to the already allotted three blocks in Kerala-Konkan basin.

Talking to newspersons after holding discussions with Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan here, Mr Deora said the two new blocks would be considered under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP).

He said the exploration activities in the already allotted three blocks in Kerala-Konkan basin were progressing and a result was expected within seven to eight months.

Referring to the proposed LNG terminal at Kochi, the Minister said a contract for the work would be awarded before the end of this month. The Australian fuel supplier for the project had agreed to increase the supply from 2.5 million tonnes to 3.75 million tonnes.

He said the Kerala government had agreed to issue a notification by next month to enable the sale of five per cent ethanol-mixed petrol in the state, which would reduce pollution level and save import costs.

'' We have already procured nine crore litre of ethanol as against the requirement of 56 crore litre,'' he added.

Later, the Chief Minister said the Union Minister had assured him that works on the LNG terminal at Kochi would be taken up without any delay.

The state government also sought immediate steps to solve the acute shortage of LPG cylinders, he added.

UNI

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