Oil and gas exploration companies like British Gas and Essar Energy want clarity on pricing and gradual linkage to international price for making shale gas investments. After Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)’s experience with the D6 gas allocation, some also suggested the government should not have an allocation policy for shale gas. Other critical issues highlighted by the companies relate to land acquisition, water availability and handling. These companies submitted their comments to draft shale gas policy last month.

The government is looking to launch the first shale gas auction by December 2013 and is working on the policy that could be finalised by year-end. Hydrocarbon found in the form of shale gas has, over the past few years, transformed the energy scenario for the world’s biggest energy consumer, the US. RIL, India’s largest private oil company, has acquired shale acreages in the US.

IOC has been pleading with the government to move petrol back to a controlled regime

After two months of losses, oil marketing companies (OMCs) have started making profits on sale of petrol, thanks to the softening global price and an excise cut announced by the government last week. The OMCs have begun making a margin of around Rs 1 on every litre sold. The three — Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — were losing around Rs 6 on every litre of petrol in the first fortnight of this month. To prevent any price increase in petrol, the government last Thursday cut the excise duty by Rs 5.30 a litre. Until then, it was charging Rs 14.78 through excise on every litre. The move almost covered the loss that the OMCs were incurring on petrol.

Forced to scale down petroleum retail operations, Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar have taken their predatory pricing complaint against government oil marketing companies (OMCs) to the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity.

In July, the PNGRB (petroleum and natural gas regulatory board) had dismissed a plea of these private fuel retailers against government oil marketing companies. Though the two companies are pursuing the case, Shell India has decided to withdraw.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has decided to challenge the order of the Delhi High Court that had struck down its order on rates and compression charges of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), the monopoly supplier in this city. It will shortly file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

“The Board has gone through the judgement. A decision has been taken to appeal,” S Krishnan, chairman of the Board, told Business Standard. In early April, PNGRB had passed an order directing IGL to reduce prices for its consumers in Delhi with immediate effect, after factoring in the reductions in both network rates (for compressed natural gas, piped natural gas and industrial consumers) and the compression charges levied only on CNG

In line with the falling global prices, petrol may be made cheaper by around Rs 2 a litre later this week, creating political legroom for a diesel price revision. This will be the second price cut in the month after the Rs 7.54 increase last month triggered strong political opposition. On June 2, petrol was brought down by Rs 2.02 to Rs 71.16 a litre in the capital.

Oil marketing companies review petrol prices, vis-a-vis the average international price, on a fortnightly basis. “When the price was cut on June 2, the average international price was $115.81 per barrel, against $124.42 in the fortnight when the price was increased by Rs 6.28 excluding taxes.

India on Wednesday signed the gas sale purchase agreement (GSPA) for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline, which upon completion would diversify its gas basket. With domestic gas output stagnating, the $7.6-billion Tapi gas project provides a ray of hope.

In five years, the country would have access to imported natural gas, in addition to imported liquefied natural gas and domestic sources, including coal bed methane gas.

EGoM fixed the price for 5 years and it needs to decide on RIL’s revision demand, says Vahanvati

The government’s top law officer has said deciding on revising the price of gas from the D6 field of the Krishna-Godavari (KG-D6) basin before April 2014 is a matter of policy, not law. In his advice to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who chairs the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on the subject, Attorney General G E Vahanvati has said one cannot ignore the fact that the price has been fixed and the fixation is effective up to April 2014.

If you have multiple liquefied natural gas (LPG) connections or one along with a piped natural gas (PNG) connection, be ready to have your cylinder blocked if you do not surrender it. The three government oil marketers blocked as many as 3.8 million LPG connections by March 2012.

Oil marketing companies IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum together blocked nearly 2.9 million LPG connections belonging to customers having more than one connection across states. Similarly, around 900,000 LPG connections with consumers having PNG connections were blocked.

June may turn out to be the luckiest month for government oil marketing companies for the third year in a row.

Estimates point to 4-year-high of 4.9% rise in petroleum product sale trend likely to continue, says PPAC

The country’s diesel consumption rose a massive 11.9 per cent in 2011-12, leading to an expected 4.9 per cent growth in the sale of petroleum products in the just-ended financial year. That will mark a four-year-high growth, which is significantly above 2.9 per cent in 2010-11. The government’s projection for FY12 was 4.58 per cent.