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OMC’s contract 41.89 crore litre for ethanol supply

The Minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas RPN Singh informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply today that for the year 2011-12 i.e for the period 01.10.2011 to 30.09.2012, based upon the offers received against the Expression of Interest floated, the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have contracted 41.89 crore litres of Ethanol in 12 States for implementation of the EBP Programme. He added that the contract for Ethanol supplies for the year 2010-11 for Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme expired on 30.09.2011.

Evaluation of Shale Resources

The Minister informed the Lok Sabha that different agencies have reported upon the Shale Gas resources in India. Energy Information Administration (EIA), United States of America (April, 2011) has reported a risked gas-in-place of the order of 293 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) with 69 TCF as recoverable in 4 Indian basins. United States Geological Survey (USGS) (January, 2012) has estimated 6.1 TCF as technical recoverable in 3 Indian basins and mention potential for shale oil/gas.

He added that total of 6 basins namely Cambay, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan, Indo- Gangetic & Gondwana have been identified under Phase-I for Shale Gas resource assessment based on Geological, Geophysical and Geochemical data gathered during exploration of conventional oil/gas over the years. Further, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has assigned Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL), Ranchi with the task of identification of areas and assessment of Shale Gas potential in Damodar and Sohagpur sedimentary basins.

Singh further said Shale Gas Policy is proposed to be announced tentatively by 31.3.2013. After announcement of Shale Gas Policy, action will be initiated to launch bidding round for exploration of Shale Gas. The Minister also said that based on the findings of studies on the potential of Shale Gas resources, the policy on Shale Gas is to be formulated after incorporating views of the concerned Ministries/Departments. So far, resource assessment for Shale Gas in 3 basing (KG, Cauvery and Cambay) has been done by.

E-auction fetches Rs 4,929 crore

Units of state-owned Coal India earned Rs 4,929 crore more from sale of coal through e-auction in the first 11 months of the current fiscal than what they would have earned, if the fossil fuel was sold at notified prices.

“CIL is earning some profits by sale of coal through e-auction. The subsidiary companies of CIL have earned an additional amount of Rs 4,929.29 crore over the notified price, during the period April 2011 to February 2012,” Minister of State for Coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Under e—auction, coal is sold at spot market price. Around 10 per cent of the total coal produced by state—run CIL is sold through e—auction.

In his reply, the Minister also said the average minimum and maximum e—auction price of the subsidiary firms of the PSU in the April—February period had been Rs 2,611.26 per tonne and Rs 2,933.90 per tonne respectively. “Their average notified price during the above period was Rs 1,647.38 per tonne,” he said.

Govt considering channelising exports of ores via MMTC

The government is considering channelising exports of iron ore through state-run MMTC in a to enforce tighter regulation.

"The feasibility of nodal agency operation, as an interim measure, to cover exports of most grades of iron ore as an accounting procedure is under examination, to enforce legitimacy and tighter regulation of iron ore exports and compliance with mining regulations," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He was replying to questions whether exports of ores, inducing iron ore, is proposed to be channelised through MMTC. Under the current foreign trade policy, export of iron ore with iron content 64% and above is under the state trading regime through MMTC.

He said the monitoring of mineral movement from mining to export, mandatory registration of and reporting by all stakeholders would help trace the ore, thereby ensuring that it is sourced through legal mining operations.

In January, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry had moved a Cabinet note in this regard. To ensure domestic availability of iron ore, he said the government has raised the ad-valorem export duty on iron ore lumps and fines to 30% and imposed differential railway freight on iron ore meant for export.

In an another reply, Scindia said the quantity of coffee exports in this fiscal (up to March 12) increased by 8% to 321,537 tonne from 297,808 tonne in 2010-11.

Crude oil reserves

The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural said that as on 1.4.2011, recoverable reserves of crude oil in the country is assessed at 757.4 million metric tonne (MMT) by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), Oil India Ltd. (OIL) and Private/Joint venture companies. These reserves are continuously undergoing change on account of accretion of new reserves as a result of success in exploration and due to production on a continuous basis. Further, in view of the growth in the economy, indigenous production of crude oil is not adequate for the energy needs of the country at present, the Minister added.

Singh further stated that the peak of crude oil production have been estimated and reported differently over the time. He also said that International Energy Agency in World Energy Outlook, 2011says that “Proven reserves of oil increased to 1.47 trillion barrels at the end of 2010 according to the Oil and Gas Journal or 48 years production at existing level. Remaining recoverable resources are estimated to be much larger and could reach nearly 5.5 trillion barrels.”

The Minister stressed that in order to provide momentum to exploration and production in the country, Government has adopted multi-prong strategy which inter-alia includes: (i) increasing hydrocarbon exploration and production in the country, (ii) Development of unconventional sources of hydrocarbon and (iii) Acquisition of overseas oil and gas assets by Indian companies.

He also informed that the Government is setting-up the underground strategic storage in the form of rock cavern with total storage capacity of 5.33 MMT at 3 locations viz., Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and one each in Mangalore & Padur in Karnataka. The projects are expected to be commissioned in a phased manner from April, 2013 onwards.

“In addition, feasibility study for about 12.5 MMT strategic oil reserves is in progress in the states of Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Odisha,” he added.

LPG being supplied in all 628 districts

According to Singh, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) are supplying LPG through their LPG distributors in all the 628 districts of the country. City Gas Distribution (CGD) companies are supplying Piped Natural Gas (PNG) in 10 States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tripura, covering 51 Geographical Areas”, he added.

Singh also referred to vision 2015 adopted by this Ministry which envisages raising the country’s LPG population coverage from 50% to 75 %, by releasing 5.5 crore new LPG connections between 2009 and 2015 especially in rural areas and under-covered areas.

“As far as extension of PNG facilities to different towns and cities in the country is concerned, the implementation timeframe is subject to interalia, availability of natural gas through a gas transmission pipeline, technical and commercial feasibility and availability of clearances from various authorities, such as digging permission from the civic authorities, etc,” the Minister said.

Shale gas exploration policy by March 2013

By the end of next financial year India will have a national policy on exploration of shale gas, an unconventional natural gas resource trapped in sedimentary rocks, that would substantially reduce the countrys dependence on imports, Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy said.

"Shale gas policy is proposed to be announced tentatively by March 31, 2013," Reddy said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, adding the government has already started formulating the policy. Reddy said the government has started consultation process with concerned ministries and departments to formulate the policy.

"The announcement of shale gas policy will depend on completion of the consultation process with all the concerned authorities, including environmental safeguards required to be put in place under the regulatory regime for shale gas exploration and production," he said.

To explore the potential of shale gas availability in the country, India signed a memorandum of understanding with the US in November 2010.

As per the deal, US Geological Survey carried out shale gas resource assessment in three Indian basins - Krishna Godavari, Cauvery and Cambay - in January this year. Shale gas is emerging as an important source of energy in the US and is estimated to account for much as half the natural gas production in North America by 2020. The minister said Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has assigned Ranchi-based Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited with the task of identification of areas and assessment of shale gas potential in Damodar and Sohagpur sedimentary basins.

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