Sunday, June 05, 2005

India Petroleum Update

New Updates
Cairn Energy again finds oil near its Mangala oil field. This is its 12th major find since 1998 in Rajasthan. Though a relatively smaller find (even by Indian standards) at 35 to 70 million barrels, it just adds up.

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is likely to go to Azerbaijan this week to attend a conference and to explore the possibilities of some oil deals.

Indian Oil Corporation meanwhile took Indian oil diplomacy to Turkey by bidding for a 50% stake in Turkey's biggest refiner.

Ongoing Update I - Oil Price Hike

The oil price hike debate continues with the key players simply repeating themselves over and over again. The Left comes up with alternatives to the hike (refiners to take some burden and the government to take the rest via tax cuts), Laloo suggests decreasing the cost of diesel and Cabinet decides to mull over the issue again. The Communists are planning a big protest, while oil and gas companies are complaining not just the delay in hikes, but also against present pricing mechanisms.

Ongoing Update II - NELP-V

Despite the stiff competition that has come up for blocks under the fifth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy, it looks like Reliance and ONGC could all the six gas-rich but deep-sea blocks in the KG basin equally between them. Moreover despite all the hoopla over having them apply, it looks like foreigh giants like British Petroleum, British Gas, Petrobras and Petronas are likely to end up with no wins at all in this round, while ONGC alone could win 10 of the 20 oil blocks at stake.

Ongoing Update III - Pipelines

Petroleum Minister Mani Shakar Aiyar goes to Pakistan today to push for pipelines from Iran and Central Asia, and to get Pakistan to buy diesel worth Rs 3000 crore annually from India, besides letting India invest in Paki oil companies. Aiyar will go to Iran next month to sign an LNG import deal. Aiyar also announced a revival in interest in the Oman pipeline.

Bangladesh meanwhile continues to ponder over the proposed Myanmar-India gas pipeline.