DK Sarraf, chairperson of India's downstream oil and gas regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), spoke to CNBC-TV18 about the growth of oil and gas sector in the year and his expectations from 2019.
“Year 2018 was an eventful year so far as PNGRB is concerned. We had completed some of the leftover geographical areas award for the 8th round and then we completed some six areas, which were awarded to GAIL on nomination basis and after that we launched ninth CGD bidding round, which was very big success," Sarraf said on Friday.
86 geographical areas were offered covering 174 districts of India and which also covered more than 25 percent of Indian population. All these areas were well-subscribed by investors and 406 bids were received. We got a good participation from oil marketing companies (OMCs), the gas companies like GAIL, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) and Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) and also some of the foreign bidders, the private sector participants like Torrent and Adani, so everybody was very much enthusiastic. We also on our side allocated all these areas within one month of receiving the bids, so it was a grand success,” he said.
Talking about the investment outlook, Sarraf said, “As far as the investment is concerned, about Rs 70,000 crore of investment is expected to come from 9th CGD bidding round and about Rs 50,000 crore of investments may come from the 10th CGD bidding round. As far as the pricing of gas is concerned, that does not come within the purview of the PNGRB that is for the government of India to decide and so far as their demand for higher price is concerned, I think that demand is fair because unless the gas price is increased, how the gas production within the country will increase? So many explorations had already been done, gas has been discovered and that gas cannot be produced at such a low price, so that is what Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has been claiming but that doesn’t come within the purview of PNGRB,” said Sarraf.
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