Country's entire sedimentary basins to be explored by 2015: Deora

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New Delhi, Dec 13 (UNI) The government has said the entire area of the country's sedimentary basins will be explored by 2015, with 80 per cent of it being covered by the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

''By 2015, the entire area of Indian sedimentary basins is likely to be under exploration with a target of covering 80 per cent during the Eleventh Plan,'' Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said a day prior to the announcement of the Seventh Round of global bidding for exploration blocks under NELP.

Chairing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry last evening, he said the cumulative production of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) gas till October 31 this year was 4.7 million standard cubic metre (MMSCM).

Mr Deora added that the commercial production and sale of CBM gas has commenced with effect from July 14 this year from the block Raniganj South in West Bengal operated by Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd.

At present, after concluding six rounds of New Exploration Licencing Policy (NELP), 162 production sharing contracts have been signed and area under exploration has increased four times that is to 44 per cent of Indian sedimentary basins.

Before implementing the NELP, 11 per cent of country's sedimentary basin area was under exploration.

He also informed the the members that the state gas utility GAIL will be the government nominee under Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for the entire PSC period to receive the gas produced from Panna-Mukta and Tapti (PMT) fields at PSC price and terms.

It has also been decided that the PMT Joint Venture will commence supplies of all uncontracted/surplus quantities to GAIL immediately. This would help in ensuring greater availability of natural gas to the fertiliser and power sectors.

On the unprecedented rise in international oil prices, the minister said the government is closely monitoring the prices of petrol, diesel, PDS kerosene and domestic LPG.

Mr Deora said, ''As passing on the entire impact of the steep increase in the oil prices to the consumers would have resulted in hardship to the common man, the retail selling prices of sensitive petroleum products namely petrol, diesel, PDS Kerosene and domestic LPG have not been increased in tandem with the international oil prices.'' The annualised under-recoveries of the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) are expected to be about Rs 69,700 crore during 2007-08.

Referring to the Parliament (both Houses) passing the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology Bill 2007 recently, Mr Deora said the Institute will commence its activities by admitting students from the academic year 2008-2009.

To start with, there will be two undergraduate courses namely B Tech in Petroleum Production&Reservoir and B Tech in Petroleum Refining and one MBA course on Petroleum Management.

UNI

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