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Brief: GAIL urges for PNGRB's approval on PNG pilot project

Oct 22: Plagued by stiff resistance from farmers in Kerala, GAIL's Kochi - Bangalore/Mangalore Pipeline Project (Ph-II) on supplying a multistoried building near the Kakkanad Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with piped natural gas (PNG) has faced extensive delays. 
 8However the gas major is keen to push the project through, and has drafted an urgent letter to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to approve the testing of the pilot connection. If successful, GAIL says it will highlight the benefits of domestic gas pipelines to the general public in the state.
 8Passing through neighboring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well, the total length of the pipeline will be 879 km, out which Kerala shares 500 km. However only about 30% (160 km) of the project in the state has been granted Right of Use (ROU), with farmers and land holders not being convinced of the benefits and safety of piped natural gas.

Cabinet secretariat's new outreach programme for delayed projects: Additional secretary travels to state

Oct 22: Intent on pushing forward the new government's decision to prioritize natural gas use as CNG and PNG, as well as to stem GAIL's mounting losses, the additional secretary to the Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India is learned to have traveled to Kerala personally, where he urged GAIL to make every effort possible to speed up the successful completion of its Kochi - Bangalore/Mangalore Pipeline Project (Ph-II). 
 8The Mega Project is one of the four mega projects currently facing delays in the state, the other being the National Highways Project in Kerala by NHAI, a petrochemical park in Kochi and Kerala's monorail project. GAIL's project will supply domestic gas to consumers through pipelines laid across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. 
 8Originally having drawn support from the state's chief minister in January 2014, it has been delayed due to vehement protests by farmers in Kerala, who have questioned the safety and utility of the pipelines. The delays have already cost GAIL an incurred "Interest During Construction" to the tune of Rs. 1200 Cr, over and above the Rs. 100 Cr now being demanded by contractors for idling of their resources. 
 8The addl. secretary's meeting with the gas major was also attended by the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Kerala, and GAIL is learned to have apprised them of an alternate route for laying the pipelines. However the new route also passes through several land holdings and even across canals, which again may invite opposition. GAIL also highlighted the approval pending from the PNGRB, which would let it test a pilot connection to a multistoried building near the Kakkanad SEZ. 
 8For his part the addl. secretary conveyed that he would take up the matter with PNGRB, while directing the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) to discuss the issue of land availability with the farmers opposed to the pipeline. GAIL meanwhile has been directed to redouble its efforts in conveying the feasibility and benefits of the PNG pipeline to the general public.

PPAC's Ready Reckoner: Details

Oct 22:  The website carries here, for reference purposes, a snapshot of India's oil and gas data (updated upto August 2014) prepared by the PPAC. The following details are carried in the document which can serve as a ready reckoner:
Selected indicators of the Indian economy
mport dependency
Estimated balance of trade during 2014-15 in terms of net imports

8Indigenous crude oil production
Domestic oil and gas production vis-a-vis overseas production
CBM development in India
Company-wise and refinery-wise installed capacity and crude oil processing
High sulphur (HS) and low sulphur (LS) crude oil processing
Gross Refining Margins (GRM) across companies and refineries
GRM of North East refineries excluding the excise duty benefit
Gas production, consumption and import data
Production and consumption of petroleum products
Self sufficiency in petroleum products
Industry marketing infrastructure
Company-wise pipeline (gas, crude and other products) infrastructure
Information on prices, taxes and under recoveries
8Details of conversion factors and volume conversion.
 Click here for the
Ready Reckoner

News Briefs-I

Oct 22: 8DGH recommends 28-day extension under force majeure conditions in block NEC-DWN-2002/2: The DGH has recommended an extension of 28 days in the block, instead of 32 days proposed, in the ONGC`s block NEC-DWN-2002/2.
 --The DGH refused to allow five more days, as requested by ONGC, saying that the operator took a time of 12 days to notify about force majeure conditions in the block, instead of the mandated seven days.
 --ONGC had requested for the extension because of delays due to an experimental flight trial launch by the DRDO.
--The website carries here, for reference purposes, a fact sheet on the block which includes the following details: Brief of the block, Phase-wise status of the Minimum Work Programme (MWP vs actual work done), extension history (with dates), total wells drilled and discoveries made in the block.
 --Click here for more information
8Refinery data:
Indian refining industry has done exceedingly well in establishing itself as a major player globally. The country is emerging as a refinery hub and refining capacity exceeds the demand. The refining capacity has increased from a modest 62.240 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) in 1998 to 215.066 MMTPA, comprising of 24 refineries.
 --Of the 24 refineries, 19 are under the public sector, three under the private sector and two in the Joint Venture (JV).
 --The highest capacity of 33 MMTPA is of RIL`s Jamnagar refinery (Domestic), which comes under the private sector.
 --The capacity of the RIL`s SEZ refinery and Essar`s Vadinar refinery
stands at 27 MMTPA and 20 MMTPA, respectively.
 --In public sector refineries, the highest capacity is of IOC`s Panipat and MRPL`s Mangalore refineries which stands at 15 MMTPA each.
 --The lowest is of IOC`s Digboi refinery which stands at 0.65 MMTPA.
 Click here for detailed company-wise and refinery-wise data

News Briefs-II

Oct 22:  8Small gas consumers in Gujarat take up cudgels against pro-rata cut in supply of APM gas: Small gas consumers in Gujarat -- under the banner of the South Gujarat Small Gas Consumer Association (SGSGCA) -- have taken up cudgels against the pro-rata cut in the supply of APM gas to their units.
 --The Association has received a communication from GAIL informing that in compliance with the directive from the petroleum ministry, pro-rata cuts in the supply of APM gas are being imposed on the small consumers of South Gujarat. The gas major has already reduced the APM gas supplies on a daily basis ranging between 30 to 58%.
he small consumers have argued that if gas supplies are not restored immediately, most of the consumers in South Gujarat, having nominated allocations upto 50,000 SCMD, will face closure.
Telangana BJP pushes for PNG connections to every household in Hyderabad: The Telangana BJP has requested the petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan to provide piped natural gas (PNG) to every household in Hyderabad.
 --Along with this, the state BJP has also requested for the revival of the Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) unit in Ramagundem in Telangana which has been shut for quite some time. The party wants requisite logistical and financial support to be provided to the unit to ensure uninterrupted gas supply.

News Briefs-III

Oct 22:  8Prepping up CPCL: Joint Secretary has follow up meeting; The Joint Secretary (Refinery), Rajesh Kumar Singh, recently chaired a meeting to review the progress on the action taken by CPCL on the following issues:
 --Product evacuation from its refinery
 --Reduction of credit period from the present level of 15 days by IOC to CPCL to 5 days and sharing of marketing margins
 --Implementation of MB Lal Committee`s recommendations
 --Resumption of crude production from the PY-3 field
 --Supply of KG-D6 crude
 --Re-routing of pipelines
 --Laying of a product pipeline from CPCL to HPCL/BPCL terminals via Ennore
 8GAIL agrees to stop gas supply to DCM Shriram for 10 days on account of planned work: GAIL has agreed to stop gas supply to DCM Shriram, Kota (Rajasthan), for at least 10 days on account of planned maintenance work.
 --DCM has requested for stoppage of gas supplies in line with the Gas Transportation Agreement (GTA) signed between GAIL and DCM for transportation of the KG-D6 gas.
 --Under the GTA, the gas buyer can request for a halt in gas supplies, limited to 10 days in a contract year.

Tender Briefs

Oct 22:  8ONGC floats tender for O&M manpower services for Mangala pipeline: ONGC has floated a tender for carrying out operation and maintenance (O&M) manpower services for its Mangala Development Pipeline Operations (MDPO) in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
 --The services will be hired for a period of three years.
 --The interested bidders can submit their offers before October 31, 2014.
 Click here for more information
IOC floats tenders for carrying out high-pressure hydro-jetting for de-coking of pipelines: IOC has floated a tender for high-pressure hydro-jetting of pipelines, including dismantling and re-fitting of associated valves and cleaning of heat exchanger tubes, at Digboi in Assam.
 --The tender documents can be procured before November 10, 2014 (upto 6:00 PM)
 --The due date and time for submission of tenders is November 10, 2014 (upto 6:00 PM)
 Click here for more information
More tenders: Some more tenders floated by oil and gas companies are:
 --Installation and testing of pressure control valves, Uttar Pradesh [IOC] Details
 --Processing and filling of transformer oil at specialty lubes, Mumbai [IOC] Details
 --Procurement of pressure reducing valves, Rajahmundry [ONGC] Details
 --Procurement of cross-overs, Assam [ONGC] Details

Promoting domestic ship building: Pradhan approves 10% price preference, removal of prior experience criteria

Oct 21:  With a view to give a boost to the Indian shipbuilding and repairs industry, the petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan has okayed the shipping ministry proposal that calls for granting of 10% purchase price preference to Indian shipyards vis-a-vis foreign players in case of procurement of ships by central and state government departments, entities and PSUs through tenders, either domestic or global.
 8Not only this, Pradhan has also supported the removal of the prior experience criteria in the building of such vessels to make it easier for the domestic players to participate in such tenders.
 8As this measure has been taken to give a fillip to the Indian shipbuilding industry, it will apply only to procurement of vessels. In other words, charter-hiring of vessels has been kept out of the ambit.
 8The petroleum ministry, after it was asked to give its comments, has now supported the proposal of the shipping ministry taking into cognizance the provisions contained in the National Manufacturing Policy and the XIIth Plan Document of the Planning Commission to promote indigenous manufacturing in India.

IOC`s LNG deal with GAIL runs into trouble: Gas major wants to dictate terms

Oct 21: Even though discussions on IOC`s long term arrangement with GAIL for gas procurement have been doing the rounds for awhile, the deal seems to be running into trouble as the gas major dictates its terms.
8Talks have been on for sourcing long term Henry Hub based gas, and while there is a general agreement on the terms, GAIL seems to be dragging its feet on key issues and so IOC has not been able to finalize the term sheet as yet.
Key issues
8GAIL willing to supply only for captive consumption: IOC wants the gas sourced from GAIL to be used for captive consumption as well as for sale to customers, but GAIL is insisting that gas purchased from them will only be for captive consumption. As a workaround, IOC has requested that instead of RLNG, IOC would prefer to purchase LNG on high sea sale basis to get a tax advantage. GAIL does not seem to have a problem with that but is dragging its feet on finalizing the modalities.
 8GAIL yet to give indicative price for high sea sale: Although GAIL has given an indicative RLNG price, this is not the price of LNG for high sea sale, which GAIL is yet to provide. As a result, the refinery economics of using RLNG are yet to be worked out by IOC.
 8GAIL insists on IOC using regasification capacity at Dahej: GAIL is insisting that IOC should use the capacity booked by GAIL at Dahej, a condition which cannot be accepted by IOC, since it has already booked its own capacity.
RLNG IOC would prefer to purchase LNG on high sea sale basis to get tax advantage. GAIL has expressed agreement, however, is dragging its feet in finalizing the modalities.

Chandikol underground crude cavern: Pradhan pushes for it

Oct 21: A total of three underground caverns -- at Bikaner in Rajasthan, Chandikol in Orissa and Rajkot in Gujarat -- are meant to come up in Phase-II of the government`s plans to develop strategic crude reserves equivalent to 90 days of oil imports.
8The go-ahead has not yet come for these projects as the business model for funding the reserves is still to be worked out. But the focus seems to be on kick starting a 3.75 MMT underground facility at Chandikol in Orissa. The reason for this is simple: the current petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan happens to come from the same state.
8Further to the setting up of the Vishakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur caverns with a total capacity of 5.33 MMT, which are expected to be commissioned by mid 2015-16, the petroleum ministry had expressed the need to set up additional capacity of about 13.32 MMT by 2019-20.
8There is no doubt that the Orissa site has its advantages: it is located about 100 km from the existing crude oil terminal of IOC`s Paradip refinery. So through a pipeline, the storage facility will have access to the three offshore oil terminals (SMP) located off Paradip for transshipment of crude. IOC`s existing crude pipelines can provide further connectivity for usage of crude from the underground cavern by other refineries such as Haldia, Barauni and the refineries in the north east.
8The estimated capital cost for the Chandikol project is Rs.2,871 crore, with estimated pipeline cost to the SPMs in Paradip at Rs.868 crore. The project is expected to be set up within 60 months from approval and with an evacuation rate of 10,000 cubic meters per hour.
 8Five major contracts are planned to be given out -- three item rate contracts for underground works, one LSTK for process facilities and one LSTK for pipeline works.
 8The minister has sought assistance from the Odisha government for for land acquisition so that he can quickly get the project off the ground.

Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline: Survey to begin from October but construction not yet

Oct 21:  Though the route survey for the 2050-km-long Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline is likely to start anytime soon, nothing much can be said about the commencement of the construction of the pipeline.
8GAIL has expressed its willingness to go ahead with the laying of the pipeline only if anchor support is available from two fertilizer plants at Gorakhpur and Barauni, along the pipeline route.

8A formal sanction for construction of the pipeline will be issued only after the Department of Fertilizer (DoF) approves the revival of the two fertilizer plants.
 8While revival of the two gas-based fertilizer plants will require 42-48 months, the pipeline can be executed within a span of about 40 months.
 8Not only this, GAIL has also sought direct authorization of at least 5 City Gas Distribution (CGD) networks, at Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Patna, Ranchi and Jamshedpur on the route of the pipeline (without going through the bidding route of the PNGRB) to ensure commercial viability of the pipeline.
 8GAIL is willing to start work on development of CGD networks along with the construction of the main trunk pipeline so that CNG and PNG supplies in the five cities can be started immediately after the commissioning of the main trunk pipeline.
 8GAIL has informed that it can immediately commence construction of the pipeline once a final decision is taken on the revival of the two fertilizer plants.
 8The petroleum ministry is looking at ordering PNGRB to fastrack the authorization of the five CGDs by conducting early bidding to develop them. The idea of direct authorization is another option that is being investigated.

Cut in gas to small customers: We are following Supreme Court's orders, says ministry

Oct 21: Defending itself over protests from small customers about depleting gas supplies, the petroleum ministry has clarified that the supply cuts are only in keeping with a Supreme Court direction that  maximum priority be accorded to use of natural gas to as CNG (for transport) and PNG (for domestic gas supplies). The order in question is derived from the April 2002 case of M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India in W.P. No. 13029/1985.
 8Following the ruling, and directions given by the Narendra Modi government that accorded top priority to the promotion of CNG and PNG distribution in India, the petroleum ministry has revised its gas allocation to GAIL - at 5.68 MMSCMD as per its guidelines on 14th Nov 2013 - to 8.737 MMSCMD as per the guidelines released on 20th Aug 2014.
8The reallocation will feed 100% of the gas demand of CGD entities. The entities are also entitled to 10% of the quantum over and above their allocated volume, should the need arise. The additional quantity of approximately 3 MMSCMD is being rerouted from the non-priority sector on a pro-rata basis.
8Those that are badly hit are small consumers, particularly in Gujarat who were allocated gas from small and marginal fields in the state. Suddenly they have been left bereft of gas.
8And to make matters worse, the gas that has been taken away is sought to be substituted with expensive RLNG by GAIL at a cost of $11.5/mmbtu.
8The argument that is being bandied around is that the small units were given gas with the express agreement that they should have arrangements for use of alternate fuels and that advance warning was given to them that the gas supplied to them is being reallocated to the PNG and CNG segments.

PM's directions for cold storage near LNG terminals: PLL draws up action plan

Oct 21: It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who mooted the idea of putting up cold storage facilities near LNG terminals in order to be able to catalyze the energy transfer that takes place in the regasification process.
8Modi had ordered the setting up such facilities in a review meeting with petroleum ministry officials some time ago.
8Taking the cue from the PM, Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) has now completed a feasibility report on setting up cold storage facilities near LNG terminals.
8It will now hold talks with central and state government departments and experienced private sector operators (including foreign players) in finalizing its detailed action plan.
8Setting up of cold storage facilities is being explored by the Cabinet Secretariat on a priority basis, and the action plan is expected to be submitted by the 31st of December.

APM and non-APM gas supply to power units: ONGC lists customers across India

Oct 21: The website carries here, for reference purposes, a list of power companies directly supplied with APM and non-APM gas by ONGC.
 8The E&P major supplies thirteen power units - 3 in Tripura, 9 in Andhra Pradesh, 3 in Tamil Nadu and one in Gujarat - from sixteen locations.
8The total contracted or allocated volume of gas is of the order of 3.059 MMSCMD for September 2014.
8Actual supply however is just 1.77 MMSCMD
 The data is given in the following manner:
Name of the plant
 --APM gas contracted or allocated and actual quantity delivered
 --Non-APM gas contracted or allocated and actual quantity delivered.
 Click on Details for more information.

Illegal expansion of industrial units in TTZ: Environment ministry calls for meeting

Oct 21:  The environment ministry recently called a meeting to discuss the issue of increasing industrial pollution in and around the Taz Trapezium Zone (TTZ) either due to establishment of new gas-based industries or expansion of production capacity of the existing industries. The meeting, chaired by Susheel Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), took note of the following points:
 8Violation of the directions and notifications of the ministry (MoEF&CC) as well as that of the Supreme Court order.
 8Illegal expansion of capacities of industries in the TTZ as represented by NIGMA.
 8Newly established units at new places and by new people in the name of old long-time closed units in Firozabad area.
 8An increase in district-wise levels of pollution in and around the TTZ.

GAIL pipeline blast-I: Line to Lanco will be ready by December 1

Oct 21:  Gas supplies to the Lanco power plant, which got stopped after the GAIL pipeline blast, is now likely to commence only from December 1, 2014.
 8The fire incident occurred in the 18" Tatipaka-Lanco Line
in June 2014. To resume normal supplies, on a permanent basis, GAIL needs to replace the 18" x 19 km line from Tatipaka to Chinchnada and ensure operation of the pipeline with dry gas by setting up wet gas treatment facilities at Tatipaka.
 8As the replacement of the pipeline will take time, GAIL, as a short-term measure, has decided to supply gas from the Mori field to the Lanco power plant through the 12" Mori-Dindi-Narsapur-Mortha and the 18" Mortha-Lanco pipelines.
 8The 12" Dindi-Mortha line is ready for operation presently and the 18" Mortha-Lanco pipeline needs to be repaired and hydro tested before it is put to use at higher pressure.
 8Repair jobs in the Mortha-Lanco section are currently in progress and these are expected to be completed by November 30, 2014. Hence gas supply to the Lanco power plant, on a short-term arrangement basis, can commence only from December 1, 2014, onwards.
 8The problem with the arrangement is that only one power plant can be supplied gas and not two.  Andhra Pradesh Gas Power Corporation Limited (APGPCL) is also a claimant for the  gas other than Lanco but the quantum of gas available from the Mori field is only enough to fire any one plant.

GAIL pipeline blast-II: Active measures taken by GAIL

Oct 21:  After the blast in GAIL`s pipeline at Tatipaka, the gas major has taken several measures to strengthen the safety and integrity of pipelines:
 8The gas major has asked ONGC to supply gas as per PNGRB specifications. The gas major wants gas sampling and analysis to be done at the source to prevent ingress of moisture, condensate and other off-spec constituents, especially at the pipelines which are connected to marginal and isolated fields as they don`t have gas cleaning and sweetening facilities. EIL has been engaged to to suggest corrective action.
8Engage international consultants to review and benchmark the Standard Operating Processes (SOPs) with reference to global pipeline operators.
8A central pipeline health monitoring group has been created to monitor pipeline integrity and safety under the company`s corporate operations and maintenance (O&M) function which would report directly to the Executive Director (O&M).
 8The frequency of internal cleaning of pipelines has been increased.
 8Company will re-examine all pigging reports of pipelines to further identify the potential locations which require repairs and reinforcement.
 8EIL has been asked to carry out an independent technical audit of all pipelines of GAIL, starting with the KG basin. Also, intensive technical audits of pipeline operations and their maintenance will be carried out by statutory authorities, such as PNGRB and OISD.
8GAIL is already carrying out an internal audit to reassess compliances with recommendations made by the PNGRB and OISD as well as its own maintenance policy guidelines. The company will also make sure that there are no RoU encroachments.

GAIL pipeline blast-III: More measures

Oct 21: Some more measures taken up by GAIL to protect pipeline integrity are:
8The incident reporting structure of the company has been revised and circulated to all sites and its Nodal Control Rooms.
8Training on the Incident Reporting System has been organized at all GAIL installations, including those at control rooms and at national and regional gas management centers.
8Group SMS and voice telephony systems have been implemented at all GAIL sites for faster communication during emergencies.
8The company will also do a full health and integrity audit of the entire optical fibre cable network of GAIL, which is the main communication channel between various pipeline stations.
8Daily foot patrolling in populated areas and monthly or quarterly foot patrolling at other locations to identify encroachments and other suspicious activities, if any, will be undertaken.
8The 10th of every month will be declared as a Safety Day wherein each officer in-charge of a pipeline or process plant will carry out a review of safety measures for at least half-a-day.

GAIL pipeline blast-IV: News Briefs

Oct 21: 8Gas supplies resumed from D6 and S Yanam fields: GAIL has finally been successful in resuming gas supplies to anchor load customers in the KG Basin after the GAIL pipeline blast.
 --While the supply of RIL's KG-D6 gas (1.3 MSMCMD) from the Oduru terminal was resumed from August 16, 2014, the gas supplied to Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (NFCL) from the Cairn Energy's S Yanam field (0.85 MSMCMD) was re-commenced from October 15, 2014.
 --The gas supplied to the anchor load customers in the KG Basin is produced by mainly three major players, ONGC, RIL and Cairn Energy.
 --Notably, the gas supplied by RIL and Cairn Energy is dry, while most of the gas supplied from ONGC's fields is wet.
8Relief and rehabilitation measures taken to support affected persons: To support the pipeline blast victims, GAIL has taken the following relief and rehabilitation measures:
 --An ex-gratia of Rs 22 lakh (Rs 20 lakhs by GAIL and Rs 2 lakh from the PM National Relief Fund) to the next of kin for each of the 22 deceased (amounting Rs 4.84 crore) has already been disbursed by GAIL. Apart from this, the Andhra Pradesh government has also disbursed Rs 3 lakh each for all the 22 deceased.
 --Rs 50,000 have been paid to the 17 injured amounting to Rs 8.5 lakh. Another Rs 50,000 from the PM National Relief Fund has also been paid to the injured. The ex-gratia amount has now been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh each.
 --Compensation against loss of personal properties, amounting to Rs 1.03 crore was also handed to the affected persons.
 --Click here for more.

PY-3 field-I: Hardy Oil submits a $192 million revival plan

Oct 21:

Hardy Oil Ltd has drawn up a $192.51 million Full Field Development Plan (FFDP) Capex (2P case) for the PY-3 field (Block CY-OS-90/1) to breathe life back into the field since it was shut in July, 2011 due to lack of MC approval.
8There is now an agreement that the stakeholders -- ONGC, Hardy Oil and Tata Petrodyne -- will share the burden of cess and royalty in this pre-NELP block.
8But operator, Hardy Oil, has made the claim that the field will only be viable if the cess and royalty rates are reduced to rates -- of Rs 900 and Rs 481 per tonne -- that prevailed at the time of the signing of the PSC in 1994.
8The field had been under shutdown subsequent to a fracas with the DGH, over lack of transparency in the hiring of the Production System (FPU+FSO+SBM) for the sub-sea field.
8The DGH had objected to the fact that the system was on hire from Aban for a period of seven years without going through a transparent bidding process.
8What really irritated the regulator was the fact that the operator, Hardy, sought to extend the contract for the Production System by two years, up to January, 2011, with a 32% increase (from the then prevailing rate of $49,000 to $64,800 per day) on a nomination basis.
8Despite repeated reminders, the DGH claimed that no genuine attempt was made to solicit competitive bids for such a system or to bring about transparency in the manner in which the production system was hired.
8It remains to be seen how the government reacts to Hardy Oil`s proposal but any attempt to bring down the rate of cess and royalty to 1994 levels is unlikely to find approval in the government.
Click on Details for more




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