Economy

Investment panel to take up 31 oil, gas blocks in 2 weeks: Moily

Richa Mishra Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2017 Published on March 24, 2013

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily with Minister of State Panabaka Lakshmi and Petroleum Secretary Vivek Rae at the National Editors’ Conference in the Capital on Sunday. – Ramesh Sharma

Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Sunday said the Prime Minister-headed Cabinet Committee on Investments would take up 31 oil and gas blocks stuck for clearances in ‘two-weeks.’

On March 20, the Committee gave clearance for five oil and gas exploration blocks. The nodal Ministry has listed nearly 39 blocks that are stuck at different stages of exploration because of pending approvals from DRDO, Navy or Air Force.

The Petroleum Ministry has arrived at mutual agreements with the Ministry of Defence and DRDO for these blocks, said Vivek Rae, Petroleum Secretary at the National Editors Conference, here. The 31 blocks are at the exploration stage and explorers have spent nearly $2-3 billion on them.

In addition, the last CCI had also marked three blocks as ‘no-go’ areas, where exploration activities cannot be undertaken.

Answering a question on whether the Government would compensate companies for expenses made in these blocks, Rae said, “We will examine and we will find some way to compensate them. Two of them are owned by ONGC and one is from the private sector.”

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Panabaka Lakshmi, informed the Lok Sabha on March 22 that the Ministry of Defence had placed restrictions on exploration and development activities in 39 offshore areas.

These are in Krishna-Godavari and Mahandi basins.

Global tender for ethanol

Moily said the Government was looking to float a global tender to procure ethanol for blending with auto fuel.

According to the nodal Ministry, there is demand of around 100 crore litres.

Half of it has been procured domestically. For the remaining volumes, a global tender is likely to be floated.

Moily, while addressing the National Editor’s Conference, said the Government had decided that five per cent mandatory ethanol blending with petrol should be implemented across the country, to promote conservation of energy.

“The target is set to be achieved by June 30. A Gazette notification has been issued directing oil marketing companies to implement the programme,” Moily said.

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Published on March 24, 2013
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