OVL likely to commence Sudan refinery project in August

Apr 21, 2005 02:00 AM

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar is expected to visit Sudan towards August end to inaugurate a 714 km petroleum product pipeline and possibly lay the foundation stone of a new refinery project offered to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL). The project has been given to OVL, the overseas arm of exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, in view of the satisfactory performance of the company in Sudan's Greater Nile Oil Project and blocks 5A and 5B in which India holds participating interests.
"In view of the excellent relationship between the two countries, the Sudan government offered the Khartoum Port Sudan Pipeline Project and Port Sudan Refinery Project to ONGC/OVL in October 2003," petroleum ministry sources said.

Last year in June, OVL had signed the agreement with the Sudan Ministry of Energy and Mining to implement a 714 km petroleum products pipeline project, which is fast nearing completion. ONGC is targeting completion of the pipeline project by Aug. 14, coinciding with its founders' day, sources said.
"Aiyar is likely to visit Sudan towards Aug end or early Sept for the inauguration and commissioning of the petroleum product pipeline," official sources told.

Work on the new refinery, proposed to be set up Port Sudan at an estimated to cost around $ 1.2 bn, is expected to start during Aiyar's visit. It will have a refining capacity of 100,000 bpd for coker and cracker fluidised catalytic (FCC) configuration for conversion of heavier crude to lighter products.
"The plans and costing of the refinery is still being worked out. ONGC is expected to provide the funding for the project just as in the case of the product pipeline it has borne 90 % of the project cost of $ 111 mm, while Oil India Ltd (OIL) has provided 10 % funding," sources said.

As ONGC is not a refining company, the petroleum ministry has directed it to undertake the project in technical support with Engineers India and ONGC's refining subsidiary Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals.
MRPL is processing part of over 3 mm tons of crude accruing to OVL annually for its equity stake in Greater Nile Oil Project.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service
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