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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Reliance, Cairn India eye city gas business

Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 16, 2013
First Published: 00:21 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:25 IST(16/10/2013)

Private sector energy companies are firming up plans to venture into city gas distribution (CGD) — supplying auto gas (or CNG) for vehicles and piped gas (PNG) into kitchens.

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While Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and its global partner BP Plc are already working on plans to foray into CGD business, NRI billionaire Anil Agrawal-promoted Cairn India is also said to be keen to join hands with state-owned GAIL India Ltd — a leader in the CGD segment.

Cairn India, currently producing and selling gas from its Barmer block in Rajasthan, wants to begin its CGD supply with Gail in the state and expand to other cities in the next phase.

Confirming the company’s intent to enter into gas infrastructure and marketing, a senior company executive told HT that Cairn India has already expressed its interest to partner an existing joint venture of the Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (RSPCL) and GAIL Gas that together hold about 50% in the JV company. Gail has a 26% stake while RSPCL holds 24%. 

“Cairn has expressed its interest to pick up a portion of the remaining 50% equity share available to private investors,” he said.

The proposed distribution and pipeline network will go a long way to ensure availability of natural gas in Rajasthan and contribute to the overall development of the state, he added.

Cairn India wants to utilise gas being produced from its Rajasthan oil and gas block at Barmer for this purpose.

The Rajasthan block has unexplored potential of natural gas resources apart from the already established oil resources. The block currently produces about 30 million standard cubic feet of gas per day from the Raageshwari deep gas field.

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