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.

New Delhi and Ashgabat will on Saturday sign a historic pact that would give India a footing equal to the Chinese in Turkmenistan. The MoU would open avenues for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the upstream and downstream hydro-carbon activities. Though Turkmenistan has offered off-shore exploration blocks to India, only China has been given a discovered field for development which would supply 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas to China over 30 years.

Alarmed by the growing influence of China in the oil and gas sector in many African countries, India has decided to turn its focus from the OPEC countries to the African nations for acquisition of oil

Banned outfit ULFA has warned ONGC and Oil India Limited (OIL) to desist from carrying out seismic exploration of hydrocarbons in the Brahmaputra valley in the interests of safeguarding historic monum

Continuing with its golden run, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries on Tuesday announced a second gas discovery in the Krishna Godavari basin block off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

I am writing this article by the light of a gas lamp in my home in the forest sanctuary of Binsar in the hills of Kumaon.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp will shut a key facility at its largest gas field off Mumbai, for a fortnight from March 1, to hook up new units, leading to fall in gas output by 38 per cent. ONGC, which had closed a production complex at the Bassein field in January, will shut the second complex BPA to enable additional gas wells in the South Bassein and Vasai East field to be hooked up to the production system. Company officials said the gas output during the shutdown would fall from 17.72 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) from current 28.78 mmscmd. The shutdown of BPB process complex in January led to fall in gas production from 25.5 mmscmd to 15.5 mmscmd. Officials said the company has invested Rs 2,937 crore in additional development of the South Bassein field and another Rs 1,688 crore in the Vasai East field to avoid the expected decline in production this year onward. Under these two major development projects, two offshore platforms BCPA-2 and BCPB-2 are being installed near the existing process complexes of BPA and BPB at South Bassein field. With the implementation of this project, additional 20.53 billion cubic metre gas and 1.974 million tons additional condensate would accrue. Meanwhile, Essar Oil said thet it will raise $2 billion through issue of securities in domestic and international markets. The firm would issue equity shares, convertible debentures, american depository receipts (ADRs) and foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), among others, it said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The proposal was approved by the shareholders during their extra ordinary general meeting (EGM) held here.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) announced discoveries of four sites of crude oil and natural gas in one month after its board meeting on Monday. It said it has notified the director-general of hydrocarbons about the discoveries. Three of the discoveries are onland and the fourth in offshore. The board also cleared three major investments for growth-oriented projects. The onland discoveries have been made in well Kosamba-41 and well Chaklasi-8, both in western onshore and in well Mekrang-7 in Assam. The offshore discovery has been made in well B-12-11 in PEL Block BOFF 1,2,3 on the Arabian Sea. The three projects are the revised configuration of Dahej Petrochemicals Project, the augmentation of the gas-processing capacity of its Hazira complex and the additional participation in the GulfA joint venture. ONGC will take up addi tional participating interest (PI) of 30 per cent in the development phase of Gulf-A in the joint venture block of CB-OS-1, at the northern-most end of the Gulf of Cambay. ONGC's share of 55.26 per cent of the capex would be $57.209 million. The other partners in this joint venture are Tata Petrodyne and HOEC.

Reliance Industries has accused the petroleum ministry of violating Parliament approved norms for oil and gas exploration in the country by proposing new guidelines that it said reduced operational flexibility. The petroleum ministry has proposed guidelines for "enhancing effectiveness' of Management Committee (MC), which oversees oil and gas exploration in areas or blocks awarded to companies under the landmark New Exploration Licensing Policy (Nelp).

Reliance Industries on Wednesday announced that it has discovered natural gas reserves in an exploration block in the Krishna Godavari basin off the country's east coast. The discovery, named Dhirubhai-39, was made in block KG-DWN-2003/1, lying about 50 km from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. "The gas discovery has been made in the very first exploratory well in this block,' stated a release from the company. Reliance Industries holds 90 per cent interest in the block, while Hardy Exploration and Production India Inc has the balance 10 per cent.