India expects more gas discoveries in two months

Feb 02, 2003 01:00 AM

India expects exploration firms to announce more natural gas discoveries in two months and change global perceptions about the prospects of finding oil and gas in the country, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik said. Last October, Reliance Industries said it found an estimated 7 tcf or 200 bn cm of gas -- the country's largest discovery in decades -- in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
"More discoveries will be coming in the month of February and March because when discoveries are made some certification is required to be made by foreign expert agencies and then only can it be said that there is so much gas or oil," Naik said. "I hope that with two or three more announcements... the entire perception about India's gas sector will get changed."

The minister named Reliance, Cairn Energy and Oil and Natural Gas Corp among those expected to report new discoveries.
The recent gas find by Reliance and a series of smaller discoveries by Britain's Cairn Energy has threatened the viability of massive investments to import LNG into energy-deficient India and kindled hopes that natural gas will narrow India's energy deficit. India imports 70 % of the crude oil processed in its refineries. Its natural gas output of 65 mm cmpd (2.3 bn cfpd), meets only half the demand.

India had signed 47 contracts with Indian and foreign firms, which are looking for oil and gas under its new exploration licensing policy. Naik said 23 new contracts would be signed.
A fourth round of award of blocks on and off the east and west coasts of India is scheduled to be launched in April.

Source: The Times of India
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