The Petroleum Ministry plans to promote start-ups in clean energy space with a ₹300-crore fund with resources raised mainly from oil marketing, research and development companies.

Speaking to reporters after the inauguration of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation’s Green R&D Centre near Hoskote on Friday, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said: “Start-ups will be encouraged in oil, gas and bio-fuels space... to develop technologies which are affordable and accessible to help oil marketing, research and development companies.”

“IOC, BPCL, HPCL, ONGC, OIL and GAIL are part of this consortium and each company will be asked to device specific business plan to take it forward,” he added.

The start-ups funded under the scheme will be encouraged to monetise urban waste and rural agricultural waste in generation of biofuels.

HPCL R&D centre M K Surana, Chairman and Managing Director, HPCL, said: “The Green R&D Centre is built at a cost or ₹395 crore and currently houses 80 scientists. The centre is being built in phases on 104 acres. Under phase I, the R&D centre has laboratories in the areas of FCC/RFCC, hydro processing, catalysis, bioprocess, crude evaluation, fuel research and nano technology.

On the high crude oil price regime in the future, Pradhan said “There is no alarming situation in India following the rising oil prices in the global market, which has crossed the psychological barrier of $50 per barrel.”

“I don't think there is any alarming situation. Consciously, the Government has already taken steps to deregulate the market hence there was no such alarming situation,” he explained.

He further said “For a robust economy (like India), for a long-term period, for the interest of consumer, price link to the market is needed — that we have done and there is no such alarming situation.”

Bidding for small fields The Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons held an interactive meet for discovered small fields bid in Bengaluru on Friday.

The meet was conducted in the southern part of the country given its strong technological base — Bengaluru and Hyderabad and refinery base —Visakhapatnam and Chennai. It also highlights that out of the 67 fields on offer, a total of 17 fields (under 14 contract areas) lie in the South, with eight fields in Andhra Pradesh, two in Tamil Nadu and seven in the K-G offshore basin.

Salient features of bidding Speaking at the meet, KD Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, said the salient features of the bidding include no up-front signature bonus, no mandatory work programme, freedom in pricing and marketing of oil and gas procuredand other fiscal benefits such as no oil cess, custom duty exemption and graded royalty rates.