ONGC may sell up to 60% stake in Andhra’s KG basin

ONGC may sell up to 60% stake in Andhra’s KG basin

Mumbai: State-owned oil exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), which reported gas discoveries on the east coast of India early this year, is planning to sell up to 60% stake in the block to Petrobras of Brazil and State Hydro of Norway.

D.K. Pande, director exploration at ONGC, said: “Both State Hydro and Petrobras have asked for a higher stake in the field after looking at the preliminary data. State Hydro wants an additional 10%, over the 10% it has already agreed for.

“Petrobras has the option of hiking its stake in the field to 30% under the memorandum of understanding we have signed.

“ONGC plans to hold around 40% interest in the block and sell off the rest." Cairn Energy India already has a 10% stake in the block.

ONGC reported a gas discovery in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast in January. The discovery has been pegged at 6 trillion cu. ft (TCF), of which nearly 3.75 TCF could be recovered over the next 20-25 years, ONGC’s chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said.

Sharma said that ONGC would pump in around $5 billion (Rs19,800 crore) to produce 25 million standard cu. m per day of gas. Production from the field is expected to begin from 2011-12.

In recent years, ONGC has been focusing on monetizing its smaller discoveries, given the boom in oil prices. Around 63 of its fields have already been contracted out to private oil companies. Another 34 are due to be contracted out this year.

‘Decision on spectrum allocation after 30 Oct’

New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) said on Wednesday that any decision related to allocation of radio spectrum to existing operators and new licensees will be taken only after 30 October when the telecom engineering centre (TEC) submits its report to DoT.

“There is a scarcity of spectrum and the number of applicants are much more than actually could be accommodated," said A. Raja, minister for communications and information technology. “Telecom commission accepted Trai’s recommendation on dual technology and forwarded it to DoT."

The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), however, has challenged the government’s decision to allow operators to offer phone services on alternate technology.

Meanwhile, COAI asked the government to appoint its representative to the TEC committee on efficient use of spectrum for mobile services.

- Pankaj mishra and PTI

L&T, RPL, Sterlite in race for AP power project

New Delhi: For the 4,000MW ultra-mega power project (UMPP) at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Reliance Power Ltd (RPL) and Sterlite Industries Ltd have emerged as the three final bidders. “We opened the non-financial bids today and plan to award the project by 30 November," a senior Power Finance Corp. (PFC) executive who did not wish to be identified said.

PFC is the nodal agency for developing mega-power projects in India. Krishnapatnam is the third UMPP that will be awarded after the ones at Mundra (Gujarat) and Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) were awarded to Tata Power and RPL, respectively. The price bids for the imported coal-based project will be opened on 13 November.

- Staff Writer

Lindstrom launches India operations

Chennai: The €230 million (Rs1,297 crore) provider of textile services Lindstrom announced the launch of its operations in India.

The company has said it would cater to the work wear requirements of the clients’ employees.

The Finnish-based company said the market for employee uniform outsourcing in India is huge, as many companies in hi-tech sectors require special dresses for their workers.

The kind of material provided to the employees depends on the industry in which they operate, the safety aspects involved and also the life cycle of the garments used.

Lindstrom invests around Rs600-1,000 per garment which varies depending on the industry it is servicing. The company charges around Rs200-1,000 per employee per month for rental and maintenance of the special garments.

- Vidhya Sivaramakrishnan