DGH approves investments worth $4.8 b during lockdown

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on April 30, 2020 Published on April 30, 2020

Representational image   -  Reuters

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has given investment approvals worth nearly $4.8 billion (approximately ₹36,000 crore) during the last two weeks for upstream oil and gas activities in India.

Among the large investment proposals that have given approval are ‘work-plan budgets’ of projects in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, including projects of ONGC and Reliance Industries Ltd. Work-plan budgets of major investments in Rajasthan have also received approval. “Taking into account approvals for exploration activities too, investment approvals worth nearly $4.8 billion were given by the DGH in the last two weeks alone,” said a DGH official.

“In the last two weeks, more than 55 management committee meetings have been conducted online,” the official added.

Online meetings to continue

Management committees oversee the petroleum operations and take decisions that dictate oil and gas production activities in India. “In fact, we have decided that all management committee meetings will be held online in the future, too. The system we have devised is much more convenient and there is a fixed time at which everyone needs to be present. This is the new protocol we have established, which will continue after the lockdown as well,” the official told BusinessLine.

There is also a DGH control room that operates round-the-clock, seven days a week. The control room coordinates with different levels of the government to ease movement restrictions for upstream projects during the lockdown, the official said.

On the fall in crude oil prices and the viability of domestic projects, the official said: “The prices may remain low in the short-term, but not in the long-term. This is actually a big opportunity for domestic players. These domestic projects have been visualised assuming that the price of crude oil will remain at around $40 a barrel. It is expected that crude will regain those levels once normalcy resumes.”

Published on April 30, 2020

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