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Crude petroleum production to double at 190 MCMPD by March 2009

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 10 (UNI) The production of crude petroleum in the country will double to over 190 MCMPD by March 2009 from its present level of 95 million cubic metre per day (MCMPD) , Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora has said.

Addressing the consultative committee meeting attached to his ministry last night at Bhubaneshwar, Mr Deora said, ''The production of crude petroleum will rise owing to the encouraging response of the bidders under the New Exploration and Licencing Production (NELP) schemes.'' He added the NELP process initiated in 1997 and became effective in February 1999 and since then licenses for exploration are being awarded only through a competitive bidding system and National Oil Companies (NOCs) are requested to compete on an equal footing with Indian and Foreign companies to secure Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs).

The minister mentioned so far five rounds of bids have been invited under NELP, in which production sharing contracts (PSCs) for 110 exploration blocks have been signed.

In addition, 28 exploration blocks were signed prior to NELP.

Under NELP, 37 discoveries have already been made in Cambay onland, North East Coast and Krishna-Godaveri deepwater areas, for which development plans by the operators are in progress, he said.

Mr Deora further added the highest number of 55 exploration blocks were offered under sixth round of NELP in February last year for bidding. The aggressive and effective projection of these investment opportunities resulted in the best ever response from both Indian and foreign companies with a total of 165 bids for NELP VI blocks.

In all 68 companies including 36 foreign companies made bids under NELP VI.

Mr Deora further revealed that as of now, 23 Coal Bed Methane (CBM) blocks have been awarded through international competitive bidding in fairest rounds of CBM policy. These blocks are being operated by technically competent companies.

Two blocks were awarded on nomination basis and one block through Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route. About 16 CBM exploration blocks are in operation and contracts for 10 blocks under CBM-III have been signed recently in November last year, against which 54 bids had been received, he added.

The Goverment has so far signed contracts for 26 blocks covering an area of 13,600 square kilometers. The total committed investment in these blocks is expected to be in the tune of Rs 675 crore as on April 1, 2006.

Out of this, around Rs 170 crore was already been invested by the operating companies in CBM blocks. In just four blocks, over six trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas reserves have been established.

In 2007-08, India may join the select club of countries that commercially produce CBM. During XI five year plan, CBM gas production is envisaged as 3.78 billion cubic meters (BCM) or about 10 MCMPD, the minister asserted.

He said inorder to reduce the dependence on imported oil by way of encouraging use of indigenous sources of energy and to provide a supportive role for the sugarcane farmers, his ministry had introduced the scheme of mandatory supplying five per cent ethanol blended petrol in nine major sugar producing states and four contiguous union teritories.

However, due to non-availability of ethanol at reasonable prices, the programme could not be implemented. It was later on made mandatory in 10 states and three union territories to certain conditions for making ethanol blended petrol (EBP), the minister added.

UNI

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