The two moves to cut OMCs' underrecovery by Rs 20,300 cr this year

In the second major oil sector reform after petrol decontrol of June 2010, the government on Thursday capped subsidised domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for a consumer to six per year. For a consumer using 12 LPG cylinders annually, the extra outgo on six additional cylinders at current market price will be Rs 2,106. Also, the diesel price was increased by Rs 5 a litre, while the excise duty on petrol was reduced by Rs 5.30 a litre to avoid a price increase.

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) on Wednesday issued notices to the three PSU oil marketing companies IndianOil (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) on petition

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will take up the implementation of the innovative direct transfer of subsidy scheme on a pilot basis in Mysore from the second week of this month.

The UIDAI has informed all banks that it will start crediting the subsidy amount to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts online with respect to 30 LPG distributors in Mysore city, Chairperson of the State-Level Bankers’ Committee M G Sanghvi said here on Wednesday.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd’s planned $4 billion refinery at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra would depend on lifting of environmental moratorium on projects in that region, Parliament was informed today.

A nine-member working group will examine the ecology expert panel report

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel report, submitted by ecologist Madhav Gadgil last year, was further delaying the Rs 30,000-crore refinery project of Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) in Maharashtra, a senior official of the state-run oil marketing firm said. The project has already been delayed due to bureaucratic red tape.

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.

New Delhi GAIL India has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity order that upheld the PNGRB’s decision to accept the technical bid of the Gujarat State Petronet-led consortium for laying the R5,000-crore Mallavaram-Bhopal-Bhilwara-Vijaipur gas pipeline project.

GSPL, which currently operates about 2,000 km of pipelines in Gujarat, has a 52% stake in the consortium, with Indian Oil Corp holding 26%, and Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp having 11% each. The grouping had emerged as the lowest bidder for the project, ousting GAIL.

New Delhi The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to consider awarding of eight more oil and gas blocks that were offered in the ninth round of bidding under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), on Tuesday.

The government had offered 34 areas for exploration and production of oil and gas in NELP-IX in 2010 and bids for 33 were received at the close of bidding on March 28 last year. Of these, CCEA in March awarded 16 blocks to firms, while bids for 10 blocks were rejected due to bidders offering lesser than expected profit petroleum.

Petrol pricing may officially be out of the government’s control, but a veiled intervention by the government has resulted in Indian Oil Corp and other state-run oil marketing firms Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) differing on what is the best solution. BPCL and HPCL see IndianOil's call for moving into a price control regime as a “retrograde step”.

The government's fuel pricing policy led IndianOil, India’s largest oil marketing company, to post the biggest-ever quarterly loss at Rs 22,451 crore in the April-June period. While the oil marketing companies are compensated for revenue losses on diesel, cooking gas and kerosene, they are forced to take losses on account of petrol on their books.

Uttar Pradesh, which has about 4,000 mines of coal, silica, bauxite and granite – mostly in Bundelkhand region, has mandated e-tendering for future allotment of mining leases in the state.

This step is aimed at preventing hitherto rampant illegal mining and ushering transparency in allotment of mining leases. Under the system, lease holder will have to get environment clearance for mining within 6 months if the land area is more than 5 hectares (ha), whereas, in case of lease for mining of area of less than 5 hectares, environment clearance will not be required.