New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): Union Petroleum Minister, Murli Deora has said that the supply of natural gas from KG D-6 field is likely to begin by April 2009.
Speaking at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee Meeting here last evening, Deora said that decision has been taken to supply the first 40 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metre (MMSCMD) per day of gas to meet shortfall in existing gas-based urea plants, LPG plants and power plants.
He added that gas would also be supplied to meet the requirement of PNG and CNG for residential and transport sectors.
Emphasising the significance of the decision, Deora said, "The decision would go a long way to increase the supply of fertilizers in the country, bring down fertilizer subsidy, increase production of power and LPG, reduce dependence on petroleum products and improve environmental standards."
Referring to the extreme volatility in the global oil prices in the recent past, the Petroleum Minister said that the Indian basket of crude oil touched 142.04 per barrel dollars on July 3, 2008 before plunging to 35.83 per barrel dollars on December 24, 2008.
"Although there has been a steady fall in international oil prices since August 2008, the average price of the Indian basket during 2008-09 (till 30.1.2009) continues to be still high at 91.42 per barrel dollars, as against the average price of 79.25 per barrel dollars in 2007-08", he added.
Deora further added that Government passed on the benefit of falling oil prices to the common man by twice reducing the prices of petrol and diesel, each time by Rs.5 per litre and Rs. 2 per litre (at Delhi) respectively on December 6, 2008 and January 29, 2009. Further, domestic LPG prices were also reduced by Rs. 25 per cylinder (at Delhi) with effect from January 29, 2009.
He informed that the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are estimated to close the financial year 2008-09 with under recoveries of Rs. 1,03,908 crore.
"OMCs have declared losses amounting to Rs. 11,094 crore, after accounting for upstream assistance of Rs. 32,000 crore and oil bonds of Rs. 60,967 crore for the period April-December, 2008", he added.
The Minister also said the members that the next round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VIII) and the fourth round of Coal Bed Methane (CBM-IV) blocks is slated to be launched in early 2009.
With the signing of Production Sharing Contract blocks under NELP-VII on December 22, 2008, a total of 203 PSCs have now been signed under NELP regime.
Stating that the area under exploration has increased more than four times now covering 47.5 per cent of Indian sedimentary basinal area, he said, "During XI plan period, area under exploration has been targeted as 80 per cent of total area of Indian sedimentary basins".
The Minister also referred to the increase in Indian refining capacity to 177.97 million tones per annum (MMTPA) with the commissioning of 29 MMTPA refinery at Jamnagar (SEZ) in December 2008.
Of the total refining capacity, he elaborated that 105.5 MMT is in the Public Sector and the balance 72.47 MMT is in the private sector.
"The country is not only self-sufficient in the refining capacity for its domestic consumption but also exports petroleum products substantially" Deora stressed. (ANI)