Even as India and Russia agreed to further deepen co-operation in the energy sector fissures remain between the two sides over the grant of special treatment on investments made by the two countries in telecom and oil sectors.

At the end of the 13th Annual Summit between India and Russia, the two sides remained divided over giving tax incentives to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) for its investment in Imperial Energy as Russia is understood to linked the issue with grant to special privileges to its own telecom entity Seistema that has lost its licence due to recent Supreme Court order.

The oil ministry has approved further exploration in Cairn India's operational oilfields in Rajasthan to increase production.

“The proposal was pending with us for more than one and a half years. According to the existing PSC, the contractors are not prohibited for exploration in producing fields, however, we have given our approvals,” a senior oil ministry official said. "Cost-recovery shall be permitted only after commercial viability of finds are established," the official added. Anil Agarwal earlier wrote a letter to oil minister Veerappa Moily seeking permission to explore remaining potential resources in India's biggest onland oilfield. The company plans to ramp up production from its Rajasthan block to 3,00,000 barrels per day.

ONGC's foreign arm had agreed to buy firm's stake in Kashagan field for $5 bn

US-based ConocoPhillips is in talks with state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation ( ONGC) to pick stake in more than one of its ultra-deep-water blocks. A senior executive from ONGC said ConocoPhillips, US’s third largest energy giant, had examined 19 of its blocks and would shortly decide the ones it planned to pick a stake in.

EXPLORING REFORMS Wants cost-recovery clause removed, end to govt role in micromanaging fields, tax holiday extension

The coal ministry is likely to move a cabinet note seeking permission for Coal India to extract coal bed methane (CBM) in its leasehold areas, the chairman of the state-run miner has said.

The world’s largest coal producer Coal India Ltd (CIL) may diversify into coal-bed methane (CBM) and shale gas. Amid the turf war between the petroleum ministry and coal ministry over the authority over natural resources like CBM and shale, the Kolkata-based coal major today cautioned that due to practical and safety issues, it does want any other player to do operations in its lease-hold areas.

Though current rules forbid coal miners to venture into CBM, reports suggest that the petroleum ministry has given in-principle approval for a new policy on CBM in coal mining areas.

Appoints Foster Wheeler as consultant to prepare project report

Even as domestic gas production has fallen 8 per cent, Oil India Ltd (OIL) is planning to set up a liquefied natural gas ( LNG) receiving terminal in India. The company plans to set up a 2.5-million tonne (mt) capacity terminal. According to an industry executive in the know, Geneva-based Foster Wheeler AG has been appointed consultant to prepare a project report for the foray into imported gas. When asked, Ananth Kumar, director (finance), Oil India, confirmed the appointment of a consultant about a fortnight ago, but did not divulge the name, citing a confidentiality clause in the contract.

Declining prices of carbon credits along with the lower probability of Annex 1 or developed countries agreeing to binding commitments after the expiry of first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 may hit the revenues of companies like SRF, ONGC, Navin Fluorine and Chemplast Sanmar, among others, which have registered their projects for the UN's clean development mechanism (CDM).

With prices of carbon permits having declined to a record low of 70 cents per unit, down from the peak of 17 euros, Indian firms — which sell about 90% of their total credits to Europe — might feel the tremors in the next few months.

The Government of India constituted this committee to look into the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) mechanism in petroleum industry.

After a prolonged slide, the price of each well below a euro, a 95% fall in 4 years, with no relief in sight

With the price of carbon credits continuing to slide in the global markets and the first commitment period for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM, under which carbon trading is permitted) coming to an end this year, companies and investors holding carbon credits are worried at the prospect for investments in this regard.