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EGoM meet on gas deferred by a day over Myanmar leader's visit

A meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers on Natural Gas has been put-off by a day to July 28 due to the visit of Myanmar's ruling military junta leader.

india Updated: Jul 25, 2010 16:47 IST

A meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers on Natural Gas has been put-off by a day to July 28 due to the visit of Myanmar's ruling military junta leader.

"The EGoM meeting was scheduled for July evening, but due to engagements of the visiting dignitary, it has now been rescheduled to July 28," an official said.

The panel, whose meeting was convened at the behest of the Prime Minister's Office, is likely to deliberate on the availability of gas in the country over the next few years, but may not allocate any fuel to new customers.

The EGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to discuss prioritising the usage of the gas that is likely to become available in the next five years.

It may ask for the requirement of power and fertiliser plants coming up in future to be put up for discussion and possible allocation from the projected additional gas output at a later date.

"Currently, no power plant connected with a pipeline network is starved of gas. Those commissioning in 2010 have already been allocated gas," he said.

The Oil Ministry will make a presentation on source-wise and year-wise availability of gas and will also present a synopsis of the recent Supreme Court verdict on the Ambani gas dispute.

It may talk about Reliance Industries' eastern offshore KG-D6 field touching a peak output of 80 million standard cubic metres a day in 2011-12, as well as the beginning of production from Gujarat State Petroleum Corp's KG basin fields in 2012.

Over 15 mmscmd of gas from the KG-D6 fields is available for allocation on firm basis, as the government has already fixed users for over 64 mmscmd. GSPC's field will produce 8-9 mmsmcd, while state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp's Bay of Bengal fields would produce 25-30 mmscmd from 2016.

Sources said the Power Ministry may put up the schedule of commissioning of new gas-fired power plants and their fuel requirement for the perusal of the EGoM.

The EGoM will deliberate over how much gas and from what sources can be allocated to plants that are being commissioned sequentially, they said, adding that the issue of fuel for projects that haven't yet started construction may also come up for discussion.

Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Power has sought 28 million standard cubic metres per day of gas for its proposed plants at Shahpur in Maharashtra and Baruch in Gujarat and expansion of its Samalkot plant in Andhra Pradesh.

It was not clear if the EGoM will consider giving gas to the ADAG plants, as such a move may open Pandora's box, as several other power plants at the conception stage would also seek treatment at par with R-Power in allocation of gas.

Also, the EGoM has to consider the requirement of fertiliser plants that are switching from liquid fuel to gas as feedstock, sources said.

First Published: Jul 25, 2010 16:44 IST