Rising oil prices is forcing Gulf states to invest in gas production. Some analysts estimate that the cumulative supply shortfall for the six countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council up to 2015 will reach at least 7,000bn cubic feet. To put the number into perspective, according to BP the UK's entire remaining proven gas reserves total just under 17,000bn cu ft. "There is a Middle East regional gas crisis brewing," says Rajnish Goswami at Wood Mackenzie, the Edinburgh-based energy consultancy.

In a major breakthrough for the state-run Oil India Limited (OIL) in securing oil and gas assets abroad, the company and its partners have entered into an agreement with National Oil Corporation of Libya for four exploration blocks in that country that are estimated to hold two trillion cubic metres (tcm) of gas reserves. According to an official spokesman here, a consortia of OIL, Algeria's Sonatrach and Indian Oil Corporation, signed exploration and production sharing agreement with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has announced to go for large-scale exploration work in Tripura with the increasing investment scope in the power sector and medium-scale industries in the State. ONGC officials said here today that the exploration would commence at Tulamura under Belonia subdivision from the first week of June since the requirement of natural gas had increased because of the upcoming thermal plants at Palatana in South Tripura and Monarchak in West Tripura and expansion of existing plants in Barmura and Rokhia.

The Ukrainian prime minister cast a shadow over a strategically important hydrocarbon exploration project yesterday, openly accusing a US energy company leading the venture of holding backroom talks with Russia's Gazprom. Announcing her government had repealed an exploration licence off Ukraine's Black Sea coast for Houston-based Vanco Energy, Yulia Tymoshenko also raised the stakes in a long-standing rivalry with Viktor Yushchenko, the president.

Public sector ONGC on Saturday said it has achieved highest reserve accretion of the decade and would invest Rs 3,570.6 crore for maintaining, revamping and enhancing its oil and gas production from existing fields.

The business people in the port city on Wednesday urged the government to be aggressive in taking decision on coal mining and gas exploration to help rapid industrialisation and accelerate economic growth. Addressing a reception accorded to the newly elected office bearers of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI), they also expressed their continued support for sustaining the business-friendly atmosphere the country achieved after January 11, 2007.

For a large enterprise such as Oil India Ltd (OIL), which has a number of offices including those at remote locations, information integration is important for enabling transparency and speedy decision-making. Oil India wanted to have a system that would integrate its processes and systems to streamline oil exploration, production as well as the transportation of crude oil and natural gas. It wanted to get a quick overview of information pertaining to its operations.

In a major relief to companies like Reliance Industries, the government is likely to restore a 7-year income tax holiday on oil and gas production as it was a sovereign commitment to companies investing in the nascent sector. But uncertainity continues over the same tax break being extended to refineries commissioning after April 1, 2009. Sources in the finance ministry said the Budget proposals for 2008-09 had actually intended only to introduce a sunset clause for 7-year income tax holiday for refineries commissioned after April 1, 2009.

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