GUWAHATI, Aug 4 - The joint venture company formed by Oil India Limited, Assam Gas Company and GAIL has bid for piped gas projects in Guwahati and the Barak Valley. Works on the projects are expected to be executed simultaneously with the North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid Project which will connect the region to the National Gas Grid.
The results of the auction for the piped gas projects are likely to be announced soon. OIL CMD Utpal Bora today said that under the piped gas project, a network of pipelines will be installed in Guwahati besides CNG stations.
�The amount of natural gas we are producing now is just enough to meet the requirements for the existing industries. If we want to attract investments, we will need more gas which is likely to be met once the gas pipeline connecting Barauni with the North East is completed,� Bora said. Both the projects � the gas pipeline from Barauni and piped gas projects for Guwahati and Silchar-Hailakandi-Karimganj � are likely to be completed in three years� time.
For the gas pipeline project, GAIL has already started work at Barauni, Bora said,
adding that the joint venture company formed to execute the project in the region would commence work in three months� time. The joint venture company comprises five PSUs namely, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL and NRL.
The gas pipeline from Barauni to Guwahati will be around 700 km to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore. A 1,500-km network of pipelines will be installed connecting other State capitals of the North East at an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore.
From Guwahati, the pipeline will extend to Numaligarh, Dimapur, Kohima and Imphal in one direction; Shillong, Silchar, Aizawl and Agartala in the second direction and to Itanagar in the third direction. Gangtok will be connected from Siliguri via the gas pipeline of GAIL extending from Barauni to Guwahati.
Admitting that oil prices had been volatile in recent times, the OIL CMD said these have stabilised between $65-70 per barrel now. �Some 80 per cent of the required oil is imported by India. We feel the $60-65 price is good for both the country and oil companies like us as it will give us a comfortable profit margin. Our cost of production is around $33 per barrel,� he said.
Oil India Limited, which registered a net profit of Rs 2,667.93 crore (72.7 per cent growth over the previous year) in the last financial year, was recently awarded nine blocks for exploration under the open acreage licensing policy (OALP), seven of which are in the North East and one each in Rajasthan and the Krishna-Godavari region. The blocks are located in the fringe areas of the existing blocks where exploration is already on.
�The existing mining lease we are working in is 60 years old. The exploration areas have reached saturation point. New exploration is bound to increase production and profits,� Bora added.
The CMD said that OIL has also started receiving dividends from its two oil fields in Russia.