The power ministry has sought 5 million metric standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) of additional gas from the Tapti oil and gas field for National Thermal Power Corporation. The additional gas will be available from the last quarter of 2007-08.
In a letter to Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan, Power secretary Anil Razdan said: "It appears from newspaper reports that the Panna-Mukta-Tapti joint venture is going ahead with direct sales of additional gas. Keeping in view the prevailing shortage of gas at NTPC power plants leading to stranded assets, I shall appreciate if you could kindly look into the matter and consider NTPC's request favourably for allocation of additional gas to NTPC on the terms and conditions as may be mutually discussed and agreed between NTPC and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)."
NTPC has already raised the issue with ONGC and is ready to settle it on commercial terms.
The Production Sharing Contract permits joint venture partners to sell additional gas directly at market determined prices. Out of this, 1.5 MMSCMD has been tied up by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utapadan Nigam Ltd (RRVUNL). In such a scenario, the government has asked power sector consumers to directly approach the Panna-Mukta-Tapti joint venture for gas.
Nearly 10.8 MMSCMD of gas is available from the Panna-Mukta-Tapti joint venture. Out of this, the JV is directly marketing 4.8 MMSCMD and it was decided that the remaining gas would be sold to GAIL (India) for supply to power and fertiliser sectors. At present, NTPC is getting about 2.1 MMSCMD and power plants in Delhi about 0.50 MMSCMD of gas. The remaining goes to fertiliser consumers. The arrangement is valid for two years.