MonitorsPublished on Sep 03, 2023
Energy News Monitor I Volume X, Issue 13
India’s home-made energy crisis: let it not go waste Lydia Powell, Observer Research Foundation


 perfect storm is brewing in the Indian energy sector. The falling rupee has increased the cost of oil imports by 27% since April. This is in addition to the 27% increase in global crude prices since April on account of the sustained conflict in West Asia, most recently in Syria. The result is that the cost of imported oil is at historic highs just at a time when India’s ability to absorb high cost energy is lowest.  Import of coal is likely to add to the pressure on account of the stalemate in domestic policy. Demand for imported fuel will increase demand for dollars which in turn will cause the rupee to depreciate further. The depreciating currency is unlikely to act as a self-correcting measure and boost exports as the market for large Indian exports such as petroleum products is not expanding.

This explains desperate measures suggested by the Ministry of Petroleum. One that has received much attention is that of shutting down petrol retailing stations by 8 pm. History has shown that rationing a scarce commodity to conserve its use has never been a successful economic or political policy. After Jimmy Carter appeared in a cardigan to emphasise higher thermostat settings to conserve energy his popularity declined substantially. A government which wants to be re-elected cannot afford to shut down petrol stations as that will only signal to the people that they have a government that is incapable of solving problems.

The other option worth noting is the idea of increasing imports of oil from Iran. According to the suggestion by the Ministry of Petroleum, India has imported 2 million tonnes (MT) of oil from Iran so far in this financial year and that an additional import of 11 MT of oil from Iran would reduce foreign exchange outflow by about $8.5 billion at a crude price of $105/bbl as the purchase will be paid for in rupees. Theoretically this is a sound idea that will serve India’s interests. This column has consistently opposed sanctions against Iran as it amounts to an economic penalty on poor oil importing nations such as India or a forced subsidy extracted from poor countries towards political objectives of rich countries. The problem is in executing the idea. Western ships will not carry Iranian oil and Indian and Iranian ships may not get adequate insurance coverage to carry Iranian crude. Paying for Iranian crude in Indian rupees is an option of last resort as far as Iran is concerned. Iran does not purchase and does not want to purchase anything more than small volumes of agricultural commodities from India. For Iran, the falling value of the Indian rupee has made accumulating rupee reserves in Indian banks more unattractive than it was originally.

Rather than dwelling on short-term measures that may or may not work, India must use the opportunity that this crisis provides to push deep and far reaching domestic policy reforms that were difficult to introduce so far. The first step would be to take the time to clearly explain to the common man why a change of course of necessary especially with regard to price where there is no choice but to link Indian energy price movements to those of global price movements. The common man is under the impression that government and private interests collude against his interests and one cannot blame him for holding this opinion as this is indeed the norm in many cases.

Political leaders with the required integrity and intelligence to take this message to the people are scarcer commodities than dollars or oil. However as far as oil is concerned there is a genuine economic need to link domestic energy price movements with international price movements. This will mediate demand much better than administrative interventions such as closing petrol retailing stations at 8 pm. The second is to implement policies that will incentivise domestic production of oil and coal. Correcting existing policies using the same people and practices that created the problem in the first place is unlikely to succeed. Bad policies and bad players of the past that plaque both the petroleum and coal sectors could be separated out and dealt with by a separate division.  New policies and new players could be introduced on a clean slate. This is standard practice in international banking reform and there is no reason why this cannot be made to work in the policy space.

Reducing cross subsidies and inefficiencies in the system is likely to be a complicated challenge.  But recent data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell is encouraging in this regard. The data shows that the growth in consumption of petroleum products has slowed considerably as economic growth is slowing. Surprisingly only petrol and aviation fuel for which the prices have been decontrolled contributed to volume growth so far in this fiscal. Even diesel demand has stabilised after the spurt in demand last fiscal on account of increased sale of diesel vehicles, power shortage and diesel emerging as favoured industrial fuel. Kerosene consumption is seen to be declining steadily and some states are said to be moving towards ‘no-kerosene’ status. The message that is emerging is that fuel choices are not primarily decided on the basis of price or price subsidies. This is the right time to take the message to the people that energy prices need to be linked to global movements.

This column has consistently argued that India’s energy challenge is essentially a ‘home-made’ economic challenge and that economic issues such as domestic pricing must be addressed to make India energy secure.  Developments this week stand testimony to this position.  India’s oil import bill as a percentage of GDP at 5.9% is the highest among large oil importers such as EU, USA, China and Japan.  India imports only 33% of its energy and yet spends 5.6% of its GDP on energy imports, compared to 3.2% of GDP for Japan which imports almost all its energy. This is not because of some external conspiracy against India. India did not devote enough thought on how its domestic economy will generate sufficient foreign exchange to pay for imports and instead obsessed over imagined external threats to its oil shipping lanes.  India has also not seriously considered ways of reducing imports of energy through efficiency and pricing reforms. The crisis presented by the depreciating rupee, slowing economy and increasing oil prices is also a unique opportunity to change course. As Ram Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Obama observed, ‘you never let a serious crisis go waste... it is an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before’. It is indeed a serious crisis but let us not make it worse by wasting it!                                                    

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]



Paying a premium toady for overseas energy assets will reap benefits in the future

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


rowing population along with increasing demand for energy necessitates planning for energy security. Though there is a surge of conferences in the capital with the serious themes such as “energy security”, there is little or no emphasis on implementation of ideas. Having said that, it must also be noted that there are also academic seminars taking place with a serious agendas but they do not get enough attention as academics is seen as unrealistic. India as we know is suffering from acute shortage in fuel supply whether it is coal or gas and consequently power. The ambitious programme of renewable energy is not delivering as envisaged and not really contributing to our energy security. Indeed India has good amount of coal compared to oil, gas and other natural resources. But coal too will be exhausted in the future which demands that India must strategize on acquiring coal properties abroad.

When it comes to acquiring coal properties overseas it is relatively easy compared to acquiring oil and gas properties which have high geological and economic risks. Also oil companies are not empowered to take decisions on their own and have very limited flexibility and have little space for failures. Fortunately, this is not the case with coal. The major problem with coal equity abroad is that the Indian government does not participate in acquiring assets abroad. Apart from this, there is not sufficient support from the government for private companies which put them at a disadvantage compared to big global giants.

Interestingly, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has a different view and is self-obsessed in praising its work in this regard:

·         150 missions abroad are quite active

·         MEA is highly active in providing overseas energy resource blocks data to stakeholders

·         MEA is also putting more emphasis on abroad diplomats to pass on the information directly to companies rather than through MEA

·         Talks have already been initiated by MEA with resource rich countries like Canada, Australia, Mozambique etc

Therefore the question here is why we are unable to achieve the desired result when MEA presents such as rosy picture. Also one cannot figure out why problems are persisting and whether the problem is at the company level or the ministry level? Well both are to be blamed as companies are following a conservative approach and the ministry procedures are plagued with bureaucratic approvals. Though there is a cold war prevailing between the industry and the ministry, when they are on the same table at the conferences, the discourse is filled with praises for one another. There is always a hidden protocol among them not to point fingers over the inefficiency of one another.

Ultimately India suffers the consequences. The most alarming situation for India is that its import bill is continuously rising. Currently our total import bill is US $ 160 billion with gas accounting for 2%, oil, 88% and coal 10%. These figures will rise in the future as India will be buying more and more through imports from energy resource countries rather than owning energy assets in those countries. If proper planning is not undertaken beforehand the results will be devastating for India.

The concept of energy security has a different meaning for different countries. For resource rich countries “energy security” means securing demand where as for countries like India “energy security” implies securing supplies. There is no doubt that there will be competition rather than cooperation among the countries in acquiring these assets. Therefore India must prioritize its investment plans in those countries.

Often Indian companies are pushed out of the overseas deals because of financial limitations and/or competition from Chinese companies. But here we need to understand that it is not in the interest of Indian companies to compete with Chinese companies. Indian companies must work in coordination with them. The point was well articulated by one of the speakers in one the conference that there is no competition between a tiger and a horse. This is indeed true.  Therefore instead of talking about competition we must try to imitate Chinese model in acquiring assets abroad by paying premium for energy resource property and later trying to dilute the premium through innovative financial approaches. The premium paid today for energy resource equity will certainly provide benefits in the future because a bargain is possible only when you have the resource. India needs to change its working specifications by strategizing its business dynamics so that overseas equity can pay back through reduced prices in the future.

Having said that, it must also be noted that India is always seen as a trusted partner in the international arena but India is not able to capitalize on the same. Though our diplomatic relations with most of the countries are good but a lot remains to be done in this regard. We must not forget that power of trust has more value than financial economics.  A lot of leverage can be availed through soft diplomacy. Also there is a need to deploy more energy experts at the diplomatic level so that they can understand the geo-politics of the energy sector. Apart from that we must change our attitudes towards Middle Eastern companies and Chinese companies and provide them enough incentives to invest in India. ORF has already have brought out a study on acquiring coal properties abroad with the title “Dynamics of importing Coal – Lessons for India” highlighting the various points that needs to be taken into account while acquiring coal assets abroad.

There is no doubt that we need to increase our domestic production of our available energy resources but at the same time we must also work on the hybrid approach with adequate support from the Indian government especially MEA (not limited to papers and conferences).

                                                    Mixed approach


Augment domestic supply        Acquire energy assets abroad for ensuring long term energy security

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]


World's Biggest Oil & Gas Companies- 2012    Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Company Name

Production (million barrels per day)

Saudi Aramco




National Iranian Oil Co.






BP plc.


Royal Dutch Shell






Kuwait Petroleum Corp.


Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.










Iraqi Oil Ministry


Qatar Petroleum










Petroleos de Venezuela




Nigerian National Petroleum





Oil & Gas: India’s Milestones                 Dinesh Kumar Madhrey, Observer Research Foundation

1825: Lieut R. Wilcox of the 46th Regiment Native Infantry who with his small survey party was on a military mission to maintain law and order saw the oil seepages in north-eastern corner of Assam in September 1825.

1866:  The exploration of Hydrocarbon in India commenced in 1866 when Mr. Goodenough of McKillop Stewart Co. drilled a well near Jaypore in Upper Assam and struck oil. He, however failed to establish satisfactory Production.

1867: H. B. Medicott of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) first started oil exploration in India in 1865 in the Makum area in Assam. The most astounding Indian oil history was made on 26th March 1867 by Mr. Goodenough of Calcutta based Mckillop, Stewart & Co. by striking oil at 118 feet at Makum (with total production 300 gallons). It was Asia’s first mechanically drilled well. Before that discovery, three wells were drilled in Jaipur (in Assam) which encountered some gas and little oil.

1889-1893: The first taste of commercial success came when a well was struck at Digboi in 1889 by Assam Railways & Trading Company (AR&T). AR&T subsequently acquired a 30-squire-mile, petroleum-rights concession in the Makuam area of Assam, and by 1893 had drilled 10 wells at Digboi producing 200 gallons/day.

(Today, Digboi boasts two wonders of the world – a hundred-year-old oil field that still producing and the world’s oldest operating oil refinery, which produces in excess of its capacity. Digboi Well No. 1 is preserved as a monument to the oil pioneers and their endeavours).

1899: AR&T Co formed a new company Assam Oil Company (AOC) and set up a small refinery at Margharita (Upper Assam) with a capacity of 500 bopd (barrels of oil per day) to refine the Digboi-oil.                                              to be continued…







RIL eyes oil blocks in Venezuela

September 3, 2013. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is evaluating investing multi-billion dollars in 2-3 oil blocks offered by Venezuela as it looks at countries from Myanmar to Canada to expand its overseas energy assets. RIL currently imports about 300,000 barrels per day of oil from Venezuela for processing at its twin refineries at Jamangar in Gujarat. It now wants to increase these volumes, possibly to 400,000 bpd. Venezuela has offered 2-3 oil blocks. Years after it dropped out of a ONGC-led consortium for developing Venezuela's giant oil fields, RIL is now keen on taking a project to produce heavy oil in the South American nation. (

ONGC, Essar Oil shortlisted to bid for Iraq's Nassiriya field

September 2, 2013. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Essar Oil have been shortlisted to bid for development of Iraq's USD 4.4 billion Nassiriya oil field and the construction of a new 300,000 barrels per day refinery. The two firms were among five companies that Iraq added to previously shortlisted 7 global energy giants for the development of the Nassiriya oil field and the construction of a dedicated export refinery as one package. Besides ONGC and Essar, the new bidders added are Russia's Rosneft, Maurel & Prom of France, and South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction, according to Iraq's Oil Ministry. Iraq had in March shortlisted seven firms including Reliance Industries to bid for the project. Others shortlisted then included French energy giant Total, Russia's Lukoil, CNPC of China and American firm Brown Energy. (

RIL-BP wins approval for $3.18 bn plan for R-Series gas field in KG-D6 block

August 30, 2013. The government has approved Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and BP's plan to invest $3.18 billion in R-series gas field in the KG-D6 basin, which is expected to produce up to 13 million standard cubic metres gas. The operator is asked to expedite development of R-series discoveries to reverse falling output from the block, which fell to little less than 14 mmscmd from 62 mmscmd in March 2010. Currently, gas is produced from D1, D3 and MA fields in the KG-D6 block. RIL and BP would take minimum three-four years time to start output from the field because the block is located in the turbulent deepwater, where fabrication works can be done only between December and April. According to the approved plan, the field is estimated to hold about 1.2 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas reserves. The approval was pending since January and recently the management committee of the block, which is headed by the director general of hydrocarbons, gave its nod to the operator to execute the plan to develop the satellite fields, collectively known as R-series. RIL is the operator of the block with 60% stake. (


Sonia Gandhi to lay foundation stone of refinery in Rajasthan

August 28, 2013. Congress President Sonia Gandhi would lay the foundation stone of the 9-million tonne capacity oil refinery at Pachpadra town in Rajasthan's Barmer district next month. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily met to discuss the refinery project. The Petroleum Minister said its foundation-laying ceremony would be held in September. During the meeting, Moily said the project will provide huge oil royalty to Rajasthan. (

Transportation / Trade

GGCL, GSPC sign MoU for long-term gas supply deal

September 3, 2013. Gujarat Gas Company Ltd (GGCL) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a long-term gas supply deal. As per the MoU, GSPC has agreed to supply 0.85 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscm) of gas per day to GGCL from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2025. The MoU is effective till December 31 this year or the signing of the relevant Gas Sales Contracts (GSC), whichever is earlier. The price of gas will be determined in the relevant GSCs and it is expected to be formula based. GGCL, a subsidiary of Gujarat Distribution Network Ltd (GDNL), currently distributes approximately 2.8 mmscmd of natural gas. GGCL continues to be India's premier gas distribution company with a proven expertise in distributing gas to the entire range of customers - industrial, commercial, domestic and CNG. GGCL distributes gas to about 404,000 industrial, commercial and domestic customers through its pipeline network and CNG to over 200,000 vehicles through 56 retail outlets. (

RIL for private, public sector joint bidding to secure energy supplies

September 3, 2013. Reliance Industries advocated public and private sector firms bidding together for oil and gas fields abroad to secure energy supplies for the country. RIL Executive Director PMS Prasad said China, which has been many more times successful in acquiring energy assets, coordinates aggression among its firms to have a concerted effort. Prasad said focus countries should be Iraq, Venezuela, Mexico and Middle-East. Back home, he advocated stable and investor friendly policy regime to help increase domestic oil and gas production. (

IGL to invest ` 4 bn in network expansion across India

September 2, 2013. Making a formal announcement on acquiring 50% stake in Central UP Gas limited (CUGL), Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) is looking to expand in several other parts of the country as well. IGL plans to invest ` 400 crore in augmenting its infrastructure to meet the growing demand of CNG and PNG. IGL currently has presence in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. By acquiring stake in CUGL, IGL would also now supply natural gas to automobile and household consumers in Kanpur and Barielly in UP. (

Rupture in ONGC pipeline; oil spillage in Bhadbhut

August 31 2013. An oil spill has been reported in the coastal areas of Gulf of Khambhat following a rupture in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) pipeline, near Bhadbhut village of the district. Flow of oil in that line has already been stopped. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was informed about the spillage, which undertook an aerial survey of the affected area using its advanced light helicopter 'Dhruv'. The ICG, in its aerial survey, found that the spill has spread in the area of 2-3 nautical miles in the sea in Gulf of Khambhat. The ICG has advised the district administration to deploy mechanised boats so that they can create a churn around the oil-spilled region, which can break the oil into droplets. Oil spill dispersant are a mixture of surfactants and solvents that break up an oil spill into droplets. By breaking it up, microbes and the environment can more easily biodegrade the oil. The effect of the spill on the environment is yet to be ascertained. (

Policy / Performance

Govt draws flak for proposal to shut petrol pumps after 8 pm

September 3, 2013. Oil minister Veerappa Moily faced a barrage of criticism for proposing higher fuel prices and fears of drastic steps like shutting down petrol pumps at night to curb imports and save foreign exchange, prompting the government to quickly issue a statement ruling out such a move. The sharp fall of the rupee and prospects of fiscal slippage on account of subsidies has put pressure on Moily to act as the oil sector accounts for a big chunk of India's import bill and the subsidy burden. The government is considering a steep hike in fuel rates as well as a possible increase in crude oil purchases from Iran, which accepts rupee payments because of US sanctions. Moily said he had sent several suggestions to the prime ministers, but shutting petrol pumps at nights is not one of them. The government is considering several options to save foreign exchange and cut subsidy bill, which is necessary for the healthy growth of the economy. But there is no proposal to shut petrol pumps after 8 pm. (

Oil Minister proposes 10 options for fuel pricing

September 3, 2013. Oil minister Veerappa Moily has proposed 10 options for fuel pricing to the prime minister, including a suggestion for a sharp increase in rates followed by a weekly 50 paise rise in diesel prices and a monthly ` 50 hike in cooking gas. Besides immediately raising diesel price by ` 5 a litre, kerosene by ` 2 a litre and cooking gas by ` 50 per cylinder, Moily has proposed to halve the subsidy on cooking gas to ` 200 per cylinder in four months, just before the crucial general elections. Softer options include allowing state-run fuel retailers to raise diesel prices every month by 90 paise per litre, or by 50 paise fortnightly. Currently, oil companies can raise diesel price by 50 paise per litre in a month. In a recent letter to the PM and the finance minister, Moily said the diesel price reform, announced in January, is no longer adequate amidst falling rupee and impending crude oil price hike amidst Syrian crisis building up in the Gulf region. Diesel subsidy, a politically sensitive matter especially before the general election, is a major drag on the exchequer. Despite eight hikes in the fuel prices since January this year, the revenue loss on the fuel is ` 12.12 per litre, Indian Oil Corp said. According to Moily, the tough decision would save ` 50,928 crore in remaining seven months of the current financial year, which will cut fuel subsidy burden by over 50%. Moily said that without new steps, state refiners would suffer a revenue loss of ` 1,67,910 crore at an average crude oil price of $110 per barrel and an exchange rate of ` 66 per dollar. (

Rupee’s plunge prompts refiner to embrace Iran: Corporate India

September 3, 2013. India is increasing imports of crude oil from Iran as policy makers risk flouting U.S. trade sanctions in their scramble to halt the slump in the rupee. Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL), India’s biggest buyer of Iranian crude, plans to buy five cargoes of 85,000 metric tons each this month, compared with three in August. Shipments from the world’s only producer that accepts rupee payments for oil are estimated to rise to 4 million tons in the year ending March 31, versus 3.9 million tons in the previous 12 months. India is among a few countries eligible for a waiver of a U.S. law that imposes financial sanctions unless they can show they have “significantly reduced” purchases from the Persian Gulf country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seeking options to revive the $1.8 trillion economy, which relies on imports to meet 80 percent of its energy needs, as he struggles to stem capital outflows that have weakened the rupee by 17 percent this year against the dollar. (

RIL should supply shortfall in gas production at old rates: CPI leader

September 2, 2013. CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta demanded that the government should "insist" that RIL should supply the shortfall in gas production at the old rates. Claiming that the Petroleum Ministry has "revised its earlier stand", he said it "has now circulated a Cabinet note to the effect that RIL shouldn't get revised price on gas till the reasons for the fall in output are ascertained. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Dasgupta said Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily had formulated the Cabinet note "in this fashion" that has "again exposed his duplicity". He said such a decision should be kept "in abeyance until these issues are openly debated with all stakeholders", including the Power and Fertiliser Ministries. The government had approved a doubling of natural gas prices from April 2014 with its opponents saying it would lead to a hike in power tariff, increase fertiliser costs and make CNG transportation more expensive. (

Govt should reduce subsidy on diesel over time: Kirit Parikh

September 2, 2013. The government need not interfere in the fixing of diesel prices and should continue with the policy of reducing subsidy on the fuel, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe) Chairman Kirit Parikh said. On a proposal of shutting down petrol pumps in the night to curb demand, Parekh said it will only have a marginal impact as people will fill up their tanks early. The Oil Ministry is planning to launch a massive fuel conservation drive from September 16 to cut fuel demand by 3 per cent and save an estimated ` 16,000 crore or USD 2.5 billion in forex outgo. Parikh said it is important for India to reduce the use of energy, adopt appropriate market based pricing and maximise domestic production of coal. He said there is a need to allow private sector to make a foray into coal production and enforce Renewable Purchase obligation (RPOs) by putting in place a uniform and well calibrated RPO standards. (

RIL tells govt to hasten project clearances to boost its economic growth

September 2, 2013. Reliance Industries has flagged excessive delays in getting regulatory approvals for five key oil and gas projects worth $7.5 billion to the special cell of the Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) even as the investment-hungry country is struggling to boost its sagging economic growth. If approved, these projects have the potential to produce about 30-40 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas, increasing the country's output by about 25% in the next 4-5 years. Enhanced output will help power and fertiliser firms replace costly imported gas with cheaper domestic supply. For many of Reliance's projects, the oil ministry has not accepted the commercial viability of a discovery even when it is ready to invest its own capital, which it can recover only if gas is produced and sold. State-run and private energy firms have listed over two dozen oil and gas projects worth $16 billion (` 1,05,480 crore) with the cell and another two dozen have queued up with the petroleum ministry for initial screening before they can get attention of the PM's panel. The cell, administered by the cabinet secretariat, minimises processing delays and provides a paperless working platform to companies. Several pending exploration projects are pouring in after Cairn India, operator of the country's biggest onshore oilfield, approached the cell to clear investments worth ` 31,000 crore. (

ATF price hiked by steep 6.9 pc

September 2, 2013. Jet fuel (ATF) prices have been hiked by a steep 6.9 per cent, taking the rates to lifetime high of ` 75,031 per kilolitre. ATF had last scaled the high of ` 71,028.26 per kl in August 2008 but four consecutive increases since June this year that had been necessitated by falling rupee, has seen the fuel price break all records. Aviation Turbine Fuel, or ATF, price at Delhi was hiked by ` 4,827.94 per kl, or 6.87 per cent, to ` 75,031.09 per kl, according to Indian Oil Corp. The increase has been effected from September 1. The hike comes on back of a steep hikes on July 1 and August 1. ATF price was increased by Rs 3,617.84 per kl or 5.8 per cent on July and by another ` 4,169.4 per kl, or 6.3 per cent, on August 1. Prior to these, rates had climbed to ` 62,416.16 per kl on June 1 from ` 62,649.95 previously. These hikes follow two steep reduction in rates - by 5.5 per cent (` 3884.98 per kl) on April 1 and 5.3 per cent or ` 3,545.94 per kl from May 1. ATF price in March had touched ` 70,080.87 per kl in Delhi. The current increase follows continuing fall in rupee against the US dollar, which made import of raw material (crude oil) costlier. In Mumbai, jet fuel is costing ` 77632.43 per kl from as against ` 72,477.50 per kl previously. Rates at different airports vary because of difference in local sales tax or VAT. (

Oil Minister steps in to arrest rupee's downfall

September 1, 2013. Oil minister Veerappa Moily has submitted to prime minister, Manmohan Singh a seven-point action plan to save $20 billion worth of valuable foreign exchange with the aim of strengthening the rupee against the dollar. This plan is short of the $25 billion target set by the premier after a sharp 20% fall in the rupee and an impending American strike on Syria that may send the cost of India's crude oil imports soaring. It has already jumped by 9.9% since mid-April. Moily has made it clear in his letter that revenue losses of state-owned oil companies are unsustainable, especially because of the decline of the rupee against the dollar. India imports 80% of crude oil it processes and pays in dollars. The country's crude oil import bill was $144.3 billion in the last fiscal. Moily's plan also targets saving $2-3 billion by raising fuel prices, particularly diesel. It includes saving about $8.5 billion by importing 13 million tonnes crude oil from Iran. India pays for Iranian crude in rupees because US sanctions prohibit importers from paying Iran in dollars. The oil minister's letter also proposed that domestic oil firms could go for a $3.75 billion worth of external commercial borrowing to meet their long-term capital expenditure this year. The ministry will soon launch a fuel conservation campaign to save over $2.5 billion. Moily wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying about 11 million tonnes of crude will be imported from Iran in the remainder of the fiscal. The plan is in response to Prime Minister’s call to the ministry seeking $25 billion cut in oil import bill to narrow current account deficit. The biggest component of the plan is restarting import of oil from Iran. As US and western sanctions blocked all payment routes, India pays Iran in rupees in a UCO Bank branch in Kolkata. (,

Indian Oil raises petrol prices by more than 3.5 pc

September 1, 2013. Indian Oil Corporation, increased petrol prices by more than 3.5 per cent, blaming the falling rupee for the hike. The company also raised diesel prices by just over one per cent, it said, after a week which saw country's currency sink to a record low around 69 to the dollar. Both changes came into effect, one month after the company last increased petrol and diesel prices. India, the world's fourth-largest oil importer, is scheduled to go to the polls by May next year with inflation, which has often climbed to double figures in recent years, one of the main issues troubling voters. The government has partially deregulated petrol and hiked diesel prices in an effort to contain ballooning debt caused in part by fuel subsidies. (

Petrol price hiked by ` 2.35 a litre, diesel by 50 paise

August 31, 2013. Petrol price was hiked by a steep ` 2.35 per litre, the sixth increase in rates in three months, and diesel by 50 paise per litre on falling rupee and firming international oil prices. The increase in rates, which will be effective midnight tonight, are excluding local sales tax or VAT, Indian Oil Corp announced. The actual hike will be higher and will vary from city to city. Petrol price in Delhi will go up by ` 2.83 to ` 74.10 per litre while it will cost ` 81.57 per litre in Mumbai as against ` 78.61 currently. This is the sixth increase in rates since June and in all petrol prices have gone up by a massive ` 9.17 per litre, excluding VAT. Price of petrol in Delhi has gone up by over ` 11 per litre after including state tax since June 1. In a parallel move, diesel price was hiked by 50 paise, excluding VAT, in line with the January decision of the government allowing oil companies freedom to raise prices in small doses every month to wipe out mounting losses. Diesel price in Delhi has been hiked by 57 paise to ` 51.97 per litre while it will cost ` 58.86 in Mumbai as compared to ` 58.23 currently. The hike in the eighth since the January 17 and most of the losses on diesel sales should have been wiped off by now to make the fuel market priced. But the fall in rupee, around 25 per cent since April, has worsened the situation and oil firms are losing ` 12.12 per litre despite prices being raised by a cumulative ` 4.75 this year. Oil firms had on June 1 raised petrol prices by 75 paise, excluding VAT, and followed it with a ` 2 per litre increase on June 16, a ` 1.82 increase on June 29, ` 1.55 hike on July 15 and 70 paise increase from August 1. (

Ethanol blending with petrol should be allowed: Gadkari

August 31, 2013. Purti Alternative Fuels Private Ltd, a venture of Purti group of former BJP national president Nitin Gadkari, launched the `Jointly Owned Dealer Operator (JODO)' service with Essar group, under which it will set up Essar-Purti Petrol pumps network. Announcing that Purti is blending 10 percent ethanol with petrol and it is being supplied to the petrol pumps in the city and it would soon be available in Wardha, Bhandara and Gondia in Maharashtra, Gadkari said the group has sought permission from the government to blend 20 percent ethanol with the petrol. (

Loss on subsidised fuel sale could touch ` 1800 bn: Oil Minister

August 31, 2013. Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying without corrective steps losses on sale of subsidised fuel sales will rise to unprecedented ` 1,80,000 crore. Moily told Prime Minister that rupee has dropped from ` 54.45 to a US dollar in 2012-13 to ` 68.36, raising cost of importing oil. Losses on diesel sales at government-controlled rates have widened to ` 10.22 per litre from ` 9.29 a litre at the beginning of the month and less than ` 3 per litre in May, even as prices are raised by 50 paise a litre every month. Besides, the oil companies lose ` 33.54 per litre on kerosene and ` 412 per 14.2-kg cooking gas (LPG) cylinder. (

Infrastructure & liberal regulatory regime key to India's shale gas potential: EY report

August 30, 2013. India needs to build strong service and infrastructure capabilities, along with a favorable regulatory regime, that while addressing environmental and social concerns, can promote exploration and production activities in its shale gas industry, said 'Shale gas - global experience and key learning', a report from EY, released at the International Congress on Shale Exploration India 2013 in New Delhi. The EY report highlighted that to replicate the North American shale gas revolution and fully exploit its shale gas potential, India will need to address several factors that have helped the US achieve success in its shale gas-related initiatives. These include industry-friendly regulations, a favorable pricing regime, a developed onshore oilfield services (OFS) sector, an extensive gas- distribution network and market-driven gas pricing. All countries, outside North America, including India, will need time to develop these capabilities. Taking cues from the US, several countries have already begun to take steps to attract investment in their domestic shale gas resources. They are offering financial incentives, including subsidies and reduction in royalty rates. Some countries are developing shale gas-specific policies to provide regulatory certainty to investors. Over the past one year, China, India and Argentina have raised their natural gas prices to provide an incentive to oil and gas producers to explore and develop gas blocks. (

Shale O&G exploration policy is ready: Petroleum Secretary

August 30, 2013. The petroleum ministry has finalized a shale oil and gas exploration policy, which will be tabled before the cabinet soon after the oil minister approves it, Petroleum Secretary Vivek Rae said. The proposed policy initially permits state-run energy firms ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) to explore shale resources in the onland blocks, which are already held by them. ONGC and OIL can explore shale oil and gas only in the blocks that are awarded to them without auction. State explorers can't explore shale resources in blocks they won in nine auction rounds under new exploration licensing policy (NELP). Even pre-NELP blocks such as Cairn-operated Rajasthan oilfields and coal bed methane (CBM) blocks are kept out of its preview. Earlier, the oil ministry had said all existing operators could be permitted to explore shale resources, along with conventional oil and gas. But, now ministry plans to have a separate policy later to deal with exploration of shale resources in blocks awarded to private firms for conventional oil and gas and coal bed methane. (

Rupee fall to not hit oil firms' ratings now, says Fitch

August 30, 2013. Fitch Ratings has said the rupee depreciation has varying levels of implications for energy and utilities companies in India, but their ratings are not immediately affected. Among the Indian energy sector issuers currently rated by Fitch, the risks to stand-alone financial profiles are the highest for state-controlled oil marketing companies (OMCs). The Indian rupee has depreciated by over 25 per cent versus the dollar since April 1. Fitch expects limited negative credit implications for most of the rated issuers due to natural or financial hedges or, in the case of utilities, tariff mechanisms that allow for exchange rate fluctuations. The rated oil and gas companies have a significant proportion of foreign currency-denominated debt. However, they benefit from the hedge in their operations. Utility companies have a much lower proportion of foreign currency debt and at the same time have the ability to pass on foreign exchange fluctuations as part of their tariff-setting mechanisms. This provides them with greater protection against the depreciation of the rupee. OMCs such as Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (BBB- / stable) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BBB-/ stable) had over 50 per cent of their total debt in foreign currencies at the end of FY13. However, the computation of the subsidy amount to cover under-recoveries arising from selling certain fuels below market prices is based on US dollar terms. Because their refining margins are also linked to regional refining margins denominated in the dollar, the profitability of the refining operations will benefit from the rupee depreciation. Regular increase in diesel prices has reduced the under-recoveries and therefore, the subsidy requirement. However, the rupee depreciation will reverse this trend. While further price increase for diesel is being considered to reduce the subsidy requirement, the quantum of increase remains challenged by pressures on consumer inflation and political dynamics in India. (



450 MW Phase II Baglihar Power Project to start soon

September 3, 2013. The work on Baglihar Power Project Stage II is to commence shortly as Jammu and Kashmir government plans an additional generation capacity of 9,000 MW in the state in the next few years. Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) already approved a capacity addition of 9,000 MW in the state during the 12th and 13th Plans. The commissioning of the 450 MW Baglihar Stage-II would be an important milestone in this regard. This is part of continued efforts of the state government led by Omar Abdullah to bridge the supply-demand gap with respect to electric supply in the state. The Stage-I has already been completed. The Baglihar Hydro Electric project is an attractive proposition to address the issue of increase in demand of power. The second phase of the project having three units with an installed capacity of 150 MW each, will generate 1,302 MW of clean and green power, earning an annual revenue of about ` 500 crore. The total project cost is estimated at ` 3,113.19 crore and is expected to be commissioned in August 2015. (

NTPC to bid for UMPPs

September 2, 2013. NTPC is likely to bid for two ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) worth ` 20,000 crore each in Odisha and Tamil Nadu. The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is expected to invite preliminary bids for the two UMPPs. The company also plans to aggressively bid for coal blocks during the auction. Currently, NTPC is working on coal blocks in Pakri Barwadih, Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari, and Chatti-Bariatu (South) in Jharkhand; Tallaipali in Andhra and Dulanga in Odisha with total geological reserves of 3,732 million tonnes (MT) and mineable reserves of 2,035 MT. The company plans to mine around 33 MT per annum by 2017 from these blocks.

The Ministry of Coal has also allocated four additional blocks to NTPC with two -- Banai and Bhalumunda -- in Chattisgarh and Chandrabila and Kudanali-Laburiw in Odisha. These blocks have an estimated geological reserves of 1,995 MT and production potential of 42.5 MT. NTPC plans to produce nearly 100 million tonnes over the next 5-6 years to meet its fuel demand. Meanwhile, the company has signed fuel supply agreement with Coal India for our coal requirement. (

NHPC expects ` 3 bn expenses on 280 MW Dhauliganga project

August 28, 2013. NHPC expects to incur expenses worth ` 300 crore related to damages and restoration of its 280 MW Dhauliganga hydro power project that was impacted by the recent Uttarakhand floods. The project has completely stopped power generation and it take at least six more months for operations to resume. In June, the company had said that floods damaged various ancillary structures of the project like roads, residential and non-residential buildings. Currently, the leading hydel power producer has an installed power generation capacity of 5,702 MW. In the wake of the unprecedented floods in Uttarakhand, that resulted in massive devastations, hydro power plants drew flak with some quarters raising concerns that such projects are adversely impacting the environment. The potential of hydro power sector in the country is not fully utilised. NHPC is awaiting approvals for about 10 projects having a total capacity of 8,801 MW. This includes five joint venture projects with cumulative capacity of 3,686 MW. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Srei group consolidates power business

September 3, 2013. Srei group company India Power Corporation, which acquired DPSC from state owned Andrew Yule in 2010, has merged DPSC with itself and renamed it as India Power. India Power Corp is a 60-crore company that has wind power generation capacity in Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan, while the 600-crore DPSC distributes power in Asnasol in West Bengal. India Power Corp is investing ` 9,000 crore for setting up a 450-MW plant in Haldia, and a 540-MW thermal power plant in Raghunathpur in Purulia district, besides augmenting transmission and distribution capabilities at its power distribution areas in Asansol. It has recently bagged distribution areas in Bihar's Gaya and Bodh Gaya. The plant at Haldia is expected to be commissioned by early 2014 for which the company has signed a power purchase agreement of 300 MW. The company will supply rest of the power in the state to bulk consumers. (

Power Grid consortium bags $21 mn contract from Ethiopia

September 2, 2013. Power Grid Corporation- led consortium has bagged a $ 21 million contract from Ethiopian Electric Power Service Corporation for undertaking its system upgrade. Power Grid Corporation has bagged this two-year contract in consortium with NHPC and private power distribution company BSES. The contract is for a period of two years. The company which is targeting a revenue of ` 200 crore from overseas in this financial year and has already earned ` 130 crore. In another consortium, Power Grid Corporation has set up a joint venture company with the Nepal government, IL&FS and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd for power transmission. The company proposes to invest close to ` 94 crore for setting up Indo-Nepal transmission corridor. The company is also supplying power transmission equipment to Myanmar under $ 64 million supply contract. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors had approved the FPO (follow-on offer) proposal by raising 15 per cent of the fresh equity of the paid existing paid-up share capital. The funds raised will be used for expansion plans, including transmitting power to the tune of 75,000 MW by 2017. (

Essar Energy ropes in top executives from rivals to boost its power business

August 31, 2013. Essar Energy is changing gears and wants to push the peddle on its laggard power business by roping in top talent from Reliance Power, Jindal Steel & Power, and GVK Power & Infrastructure, among others. It has appointed Sushil Maroo, who served as deputy managing director at JSPL and Jindal Power earlier, as its chief executive officer with effect from September 16. This is the fifth key appointment announced by the company in the last six months. The incumbent CEO, Naresh Nayyar, will serve as a member of the Essar Corporate Centre, an oversight advisory committee. In March, Essar Energy appointed Deepak Maheshwari as its chief financial officer. Before joining Essar, Maheshwari was the CFO at Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Power, where he was involved in raising funds for some of the most ambitious projects of the company. For its power arm Essar Power, the company has also roped in Ramesh Kumar (former managing director of KSK Energy Ventures), Dr. BH Ravindra (former director and head of GVK Infra), Vinay Mittal (ex-CEO of Monnet Power) and Vishwaroop Lal (ex-CEO, NTPC Alstom Services) in the last few months. The four executives will head four special business units that house Essar's various power projects. (

Power Grid preparing road map for SAARC electricity grid

August 30, 2013. Power Grid is preparing a road map for setting up an electricity grid to connect SAARC nations including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The feasibility study for an under sea line with Sri Lanka is being finalised, according to transmission utility Power Grid Corp. The proposed cross country grid is being envisaged for harnessing each South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nation's capacities and resources to address growing energy needs in the region. India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are part of SAARC. Among others, India plans to export electricity to Pakistan. For interconnection between India and Sri Lanka, feasibility study for a 400kV, 500/1,000 MW under sea HVDC bipole line is under finalisation. Besides, a transmission line between India and Nepal for transfer of bulk power is under finalisation. An electricity transmission line with Bangladesh which is being implemented, is expected to be completed by 2013. Already, India has electricity inter connections with Bhutan and Nepal. For evacuation of power from various upcoming hydel projects in Bhutan, Power Grid is working on another transmission line, which is expected to be ready by 2015. Currently, Power Grid has more than 1 lakh circuit km of transmission lines. (

Second 300 MW unit of GMR's EMCO Energy synchronised

August 29, 2013. Infrastructure major GMR said the second unit of the 2X300 MW power plant of GMR's EMCO Energy Limited at Warora in Maharashtra, has been synchronised with the grid. The unit has achieved full load operation, the Bangalore-based company said. EMCO Energy Limited's 600 MW power plant has been set up at Warora in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Power generation from the first unit of 300 MW commenced in March 2013. EMCO Energy Limited is GMR Group's first coal-based power plant to commence commercial generation, the company said. Presently, the Group's combined generation capacity is 1836.85 MW with projects totalling 4575 MW under development. It said power generated from the plant is being evacuated to Bhadravati through a 400 kV transmission line. EMCO Energy Limited will supply power to Maharashtra, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and other consumers. (

SPML Infra secures new orders worth `18 bn

August 28, 2013. SPML Infra Ltd has won new orders worth ` 1802.10 crores from South Bihar Power Distribution Company (SBPDCL), Bihar and Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) of Rajasthan. Two orders received from SBPDCL worth ` 1000 crores are for the rural electrification projects in Patna and Gaya districts under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana. Three orders aggregating ` 802.10 crores were received from PHED, Kota, Ajmer and Bharatpur for water supply schemes benefiting more than 445 villages in Ajmer, Bharatpur and Jhalawar districts. People from these districts will be benefited with drinking water facility once these projects are completed. SPML will also be responsible for the operations & maintenance of these water infrastructure projects for 10 years after its commission. (

Policy / Performance

Coal India's subsidiary plans to auction two blocks for underground coal gasification

September 3, 2013. Central Mine Planning & Design Institute, a subsidiary of Coal India, plans to auction two blocks for underground coal gasification. The company will invite a global expression of interest this month and engage the company that is ready to share the highest percentage of profit. Underground coal gasification is an in-situ gasification process carried out in nonmined coal seams by injection of oxidants. The product gas, which is brought to the surface through production wells, could be used as a chemical feedstock or fuel for power generation. The technique is applied to resources that are otherwise unprofitable or technically complicated to extract by traditional mining methods. It also offers an alternative to conventional coal mining for some resources. (

Supply low-cost electricity or surrender coal blocks, govt to power companies

September 2, 2013. Power generation firms that have been awarded coal mines will have to stop mining operations or surrender their blocks, if they don't give consumers the benefit of lowcost electricity by competing for power supply contracts with state distribution companies. The coal ministry has asked states to insert a new clause in mining leases, including old ones, to mandate that power companies that have been given coal blocks must abide by these conditions, government said. The government has faced widespread criticism for awarding coal blocks to private firms, but in its defence, the coal ministry has argued in the past that giving captive mines to companies would speed up development of coal reserves and fuel economic growth. (

India likely to be the largest coal importer in 3-5 yrs: Platts

September 2, 2013. With coal supply issues plaguing the domestic economy, the country is likely to surpass China as the largest importer of coal in the next 3-5 years, Platts McGraw Hill Financial said. Currently, the country is the second largest importer of the commodity to feed its burgeoning energy needs and had imported around 135 million tonnes of coal in the last fiscal. The country had forked out about USD 15.5 billion for import of the commodity during this period. Interestingly, high coal imports due to lesser domestic production has aggravated current account deficit problem of the country, which had touched a high of 4.8 per cent of GDP during the last fiscal. Platts is one of the global information service provider on energy and metals and a source of benchmark price assessments in the physical energy markets. As per Platts, while China has increased domestic production of coal in the last decade, India is still facing supply side issues. (

Duty relief for equipment used in mega power projects' facilities

September 1, 2013. Government has exempted from customs duty equipment required for ash disposal system and coal transport facilities while setting up power plants having generation capacity of over 1,000 MW. The government's latest clarification comes at a time when the domestic power sector is grappling with tough business conditions, including acute scarcity of fuel. The Revenue Department, a part of the Finance Ministry, has also clarified that customs levy exemption would be applicable irrespective of whether the facilities are set up inside or outside the particular power plant's designated boundary. Generally, power projects having generation capacity of over 1,000 MW are considered as mega while those with capacity of 4,000 MW and more are described as ultra mega plants. (

Govt not considering subsidy to coal importing power cos: Scindia

August 29, 2013. The government is not considering any subsidy to power generators or hiking power tariffs to lessen the financial burden of costly coal imports, power minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said. However, cost of imported coal is to be considered for pass through to consumers as per modalities suggested by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, he said. The coal ministry has issued orders supplementing the new coal distribution policy while the power ministry has issued appropriate advisory to regulatory commissions to consider the request of individual power producers to decide for pass through of higher cost of imported coal on a case-to-case basis, Scindia said. (

` 15 lakh crore investment required in power generation by FY17: Scindia

August 29, 2013. Indian power sector will require an investment of ` 15,01,666 crore during the five years of 2012-17, half of which has been envisaged from the private sector, power minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said. In order to achieve the planned growth target and to sustain the growth momentum, the Indian power sector needs considerably large investments, he said. As per a report compiled by Power Finance Corporation, the total outstanding loans from banks and financial institutions (including bonds) for all power utilities was ` 3,81,134 crore in 2011-12 and ` 3,28,534 crore in 2010-11. (

14 power cos avail govt's interest subsidy scheme: Scindia

August 29, 2013. Power distribution companies of 14 states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have availed the centre's interest subsidy scheme - National Electricity Fund. The other state distribution utilities to have availed the scheme are West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, power minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said. National Electricity Fund has been set up to provide interest subsidy on loans raised by distribution companies to improve the distribution network. Loans of up to ` 25,000 crore sanctioned during 2012-13 and 2013-14 for capital projects in distribution sector are eligible to take the benefits of interest subsidy for 13 years, he said. (




Lithuania grants Chevron right to explore for shale gas

September 3, 2013. U.S. energy major Chevron has won a tender to explore for shale gas in western Lithuania, the government said, as the Baltic state tries to wean itself from its dependence from Russian gas. Chevron was the only bidder to explore for unconventional hydrocarbons in the 1,800 square kilometre Silute-Taurage prospect, which Lithuanian experts estimate might hold up to 80 billion cubic metres (bcm) of technically recoverable shale gas. The Baltic state gets all its gas from neighbouring Russia and has said Gazprom overcharges Lithuania. (

Eni steps up the gas in Mozambique

September 3, 2013. Eni said it had made a new gas discovery at its giant Mozambique field, opening up new acreage at what is the Italian oil and gas group's biggest ever gas discovery. Eni owns a majority stake of Area 4 in Mozambique's Rovuma basin, one of the planet's biggest untapped gas resources. Eni said gas discoveries at its Mozambique fields contained around 80 trillion cubic feet. (

Petrobras oil, gas output in July falls 2.5 pc on maintenance

September 3, 2013. Production of oil and natural gas at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA fell 2.5 percent in July compared to a year earlier as platforms and production facilities were shut down for maintenance. Petrobras produced an average 2.49 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent a day (boepd) in Brazil and abroad during the month, compared with 2.55 million boepd a year earlier, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said. July output was 4.67 percent lower than in June. (

ConocoPhillips discovers gas at Proteus-1 well in Browse Basin

September 2, 2013. Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. announced that gas was discovered at the Proteus-1 exploration well in Permit WA-398-P in the Browse Basin, 218 miles offshore from the north-western Australia coast. Success in the Proteus1 well builds on significant gas discoveries in the Boreas1, Kronos1 and Zephryos1 wells drilled earlier in the current drilling campaign. (

Russia Lukoil eyes gas production in Saudi Arabia in 2014

August 30, 2013. Russia's No.2 oil producer Lukoil plans to start natural gas production in Saudi Arabia next year, the company said. Lukoil secured a deal to find and pump gas in Saudi Arabia from the project known as Block A last decade. The project is small by the standards of Saudi Arabia's immense hydrocarbon reserves, but it creates a potentially useful new link between producer cartel OPEC's leading member and Russia, the world's number one oil exporter. (

Eni, PDVSA to form JV to develop Perla gas condensate reserves

August 30, 2013. Italy-based oil major Eni and Venezuela’s oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture (JV) to develop an estimated 170 million barrel gas condensate reserves in the Perla field. As per the agreement, PDVSA will own 60% interest in the JV, while Eni will hold the remaining 40%. (

Po Valley Energy finds gas at Gradizza1 exploration well in Italy

August 29, 2013. Australia-based oil and gas exploration and production firm Po Valley Energy has found gas while drilling the Gradizza-1 exploration well on the La Prospera license, located in the Ferrara province north of Bologna. The company operates the La Prospera license with a 75% interest, while Petrorep Italiana and AleAnna Resources own 15% and 10% interests, respectively. (

Transportation / Trade

Sudan will continue to allow passage of South Sudan's oil exports

September 3, 2013. Sudan will continue to allow South Sudan to export its oil through northern pipelines and Port Sudan port, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said. Sudan had threatened to close the two export pipelines with the landlocked South unless Juba gave up support for rebels operating across the shared border. Juba denies the allegation. (

Fuel supply-demand deficit widens without Iran: EIA

August 30, 2013. Excluding Iran from the global oil market increased the shortfall between worldwide supply and demand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. Global petroleum use averaged 2.2 million barrels a day more than output in July and August when Iran is excluded from the calculations, the EIA said. Iran can help reduce the deficit by 1.5 million barrels a day as the country’s production outpaced demand, the EIA said.

The examination of oil and fuel supplies and prices outside of Iran came as the U.S., the U.K. and other Western countries debate a military strike against Syria, an ally of Iran, after Syria’s government allegedly used chemical weapons against civilians. Iran is facing European Union sanctions against its oil exports aimed at stopping the country’s nuclear programs. Global petroleum production excluding Iran averaged 85 million barrels a day in July and August and consumption averaged 87.2 million, the EIA said. Iran produced 3.4 million barrels a day of fuels and used 1.9 million. (

Inspections target fracked US crude shipped by rail

August 29, 2013. U.S. rail-safety regulators began a “Bakken blitz” of inspections of crude oil tank cars as they seek to prevent a railroad disaster in the U.S. similar to July’s fatal inferno in Quebec. Inspectors from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are examining rail cars moving crude from North Dakota’s Bakken region, Cynthia Quarterman. Crude produced by hydraulic fracturing in the Bakken was being hauled by a train that rolled away while parked overnight and crashed into Lac-Megantic, triggering an explosion that killed 47 people July 6. U.S. regulators are carrying out the inspections to make sure shippers are properly identifying the cargo in the rail tank cars from the region. Hazardous materials regulations require tank cars to carry placards telling railroads and emergency responders what’s inside. The volume of crude oil moved by large U.S. railroads more than doubled in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier, the Association of American Railroads said. U.S. railroads originated 108,605 carloads of crude in the quarter ended June 30. That’s a U.S. record for rail shipments in a quarter as oil production increases in North America and rail gains in popularity over pipelines as a means of transport. (

Russia orders oil supply cut to Belarus

August 28, 2013. Russia's state pipeline monopoly Transneft has ordered a cut in oil supplies to Belarus by 400,000 tonnes, or nearly one-quarter of previously planned deliveries for September. Oil traders said the order was completely unexpected. It followed Belarus's arrest of the head of Russia's Uralkali, the world's top potash producer, in a row over the collapse of a sales alliance that has triggered a diplomatic spat with Moscow. (

Inpex receives first LNG shipment at Naoetsu terminal

August 28, 2013. Japan-based energy company Inpex has received its maiden LNG shipment for commissioning work at its Naoetsu LNG terminal, located in Joetsu city, Niigata prefecture. The terminal is set to enter commercial operations in January 2014. It will allow Inpex to set up a global gas supply chain, where the company stably supplies the domestic gas market with the overseas sourced gas it develops and produces in addition to the gas produced in the Minami-Nagaoka field. (

Policy / Performance

Oil prices down in Asian trade

September 3, 2013. Oil prices eased in Asian trade on receding fears of an immediate US intervention in Syria but upbeat global economic data capped losses, analysts said. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October, was down USD 1.01 at USD 106.64, while Brent North Sea crude for October shed 19 cents to USD 114.14. The potential for a US strike on Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons has been put on the backburner after President Barack Obama said he will seek support for action from Congress, which will return from recess. (

Malaysia’s Najib raises fuel prices to trim budget gap

September 3, 2013. Malaysia raised fuel prices for the first time since 2010, joining neighboring Indonesia in curbing subsidies that have stretched government budgets and threatened investor confidence. The price of the widely used RON 95 grade of gasoline rose 20 sen to 2.10 ringgit ($0.64) a liter after Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the change in Putrajaya, outside of Kuala Lumpur. Diesel was put up 20 sen to 2 ringgit a liter. The increases will help the government save about 1.1 billion ringgit this year and 3.3 billion ringgit annually in future by reducing state subsidies, he said. Najib pledged measures to tackle risks to the fiscal position after Fitch Ratings in July cut Malaysia’s rating outlook to negative. Moody’s Investors Service said the country has a “narrow” revenue base and “relatively high” government deficits, state subsidy bills and debt. Banks including RHB Capital Bhd. and Malayan Banking Bhd. raised their inflation forecasts for this year and next to reflect higher fuel costs. (

Egypt’s state oil cos seeking to restructure foreign debts

September 1, 2013. Egyptian state-owned energy companies are negotiating new terms and repayment schedules for debts owed to foreign partners, Oil Minister Sherif Ismail said, as the country tries to boost output amid political turmoil. The restructuring is a “huge challenge” and a priority for the government, which wants foreign oil and gas companies to continue investing in exploration and development, Ismail said. The statement didn’t specify the amount of debt the ministry seeks to restructure, nor did it identify the partners involved. Egypt is increasingly strapped for cash to repay international energy companies in the aftermath of the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak. Foreign-currency reserves have dwindled and the pound weakened, raising investor concerns. Egyptian General Petroleum Corp., the state-run company in charge of oil operations, owes foreign companies $5.4 billion, Ismail said. Among the options under discussion is for foreign companies to raise their output of crude and condensates and then export their share of the increased production as repayment for money they’re owed, Ismail said. The restructuring won’t affect foreign companies’ plans to invest more than $8.5 billion to explore for and develop energy in Egypt’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, he said. China Petrochemical Corp. agreed to pay $3.1 billion for a 33 percent stake in Apache Corp.’s Egyptian oil and gas business, marking the biggest purchase in the Middle East by the Chinese state company known as Sinopec Group. (

Libya oil output decline threatens public sector pay

September 1, 2013. Libya’s government may stop paying civil servants by the end of the year as protests at petroleum facilities curtail the nation’s oil output to one-tenth of its capacity. The North African state is now producing 150,000 barrels a day, after losing 50,000 barrels in daily production because of strikes by workers and security guards over pay and allegations of corruption. Libya needs to produce 400,000 barrels a day just to afford public-sector salaries. (

Saudi oil output to stay near 10 mn barrels a day

August 29, 2013. Saudi Arabia will probably keep crude production in September at similar levels to this month and July. The world’s biggest crude exporter produced 10.03 million barrels a day in July, and taking into account inventory movements it supplied 9.9 million barrels a day to the market that month. Saudi Arabia isn't supplanting sales from Libya, where oil exports have dipped, and the current situation is different to 2011 when the North African nation was in greater turmoil. Saudi and Libyan crude varieties are different and most Saudi customers are in Asia. (

Pakistan believed to have record gas, oil reserves

August 28, 2013. Pakistan has about 105 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of shale gas and over nine billion barrels of oil - far larger untapped reserves than previously known. The estimates by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) are greater than Pakistan's proved hydrocarbon reserves of 24 TCF for gas and about 300 million barrels of oil. The country currently produces about 4.2 billion cubic feet of gas and about 70,000 barrels of oil a day. A total of 1,170 TCF of "risked" shale gas are estimated for the India-Pakistan region, including 584 TCF in India and 586 TCF in Pakistan. Technically recoverable shale gas is estimated at 201 TCF, with 96 TCF in India and 105 TCF in Pakistan. The recoverable shale oil resources for the two countries is estimated at 12.9 billion barrels, including 3.8 billion barrels for India and 9.1 billion barrels for Pakistan. (



China Africa Sunlight to invest $2.1 bn in Zimbabwe Power

September 3, 2013. China Africa Sunlight Energy Ltd. said it plans to invest as much as $2.1 billion developing coal mines and building a 2,100 MW plant powered by the fuel in Zimbabwe to help ease electricity shortages. The company, a venture between Old Stone Investments Ltd. of Zimbabwe and Shandong Taishan Sunlight, will start with capacity to produce 300 MW by mid-2015 and raise this to 600 MW by the end of that year. The company has spent $20 million on exploration, and was granted rights to look for coal and coal-bed methane in the area in October 2012. The company also wants to mine coking coal, which is used in steelmaking. The southern African nation, which has the world’s biggest known reserves of platinum after neighboring South Africa, has capacity to produce 1,500 MW against peak demand of 2,100 MW, affecting industrial output. The country has coal resources of 10 billion metric tons to 15 billion tons. China Africa Sunlight Energy is working to sell some of its electricity to ZESA Ltd., the state-owned power-generation company. (

Mitsubishi in deal for 2600 MW GTCC plant in Taiwan

September 3, 2013. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has won an order to build a 2600 MW gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power plant in Taiwan. The plant will be located approximately 150 kilometers southwest from Taipei and will be operated by Taiwan Power Company (Taipower), a publicly-owned utility and the sole integrated power transmission and distribution company in the country. The plant will consist of three islands of GTCC power systems which are slated to go on-stream sequentially between September 2016 and June 2017. (

SNAP-Benguet receives approval to operate Binga hydroelectric plant in Philippines

September 3, 2013. SN Aboitiz Power – Benguet (SNAP-Benguet), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, has secured certificate of compliance from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to operate all the four units of the upgraded 125.8 MW Binga hydroelectric plant in Itogon, Benguet, Philippines. The consent is valid for five years. Originally, the plant commenced commercial operations in 1960. Prior to rehabilitation, the plant has four Francis turbines of 25 MW each with an annual production of about 350GWh. The company upgraded capacity of each of the turbines at the plant, which 50 years of economic life, to over 30 MW totaling to 125.8 MW and now the plant's annual production is estimated to be about 419GWh. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade

Ventures in China, Japan to spur power transmission

September 3, 2013. Two major ventures for power transmission and distribution systems got off the ground in an indication that “energy freeways” are about to take off in a bigger way than anyone had imagined—and faster. One of those ventures is between Toshiba Corp and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) and another between General Electric (GE) and China’s HD Electric. The Toshiba-Tepco venture began, and will see Toshiba with an 85.1% stake, with Tepco taking the rest. The idea is to hit the markets hard outside Japan, using Toshiba’s power transformation and power grid solutions technology and Tepco’s grid-planning experience and operational know-how. They are eyeing key markets such as India, Latin America and South Asia. This deal will see GE acquire 15% of China’s XD for $552.2 million and the venture will give GE access to XD’s high-voltage power equipment to complement its grid-automation capabilities and its global energy presence. (

Dong seeks to sell UK power plant

September 2, 2013. Dong Energy is actively looking for a buyer for the new Severn Power gas power plant in South Wales. The sale could be worth an estimated $780 mn for the Danish company. Dong Energy has hired advisers from Blackstone, the US financial services giant, to find a buyer for Severn Power. (

Norway approves Arctic Circle power transmission line

August 30, 2013. Norway’s state-owned grid operator Statnett won approval to build a 420kV power transmission line in northern Norway. The infrastructure project carries a price tag of as much as $600 million. The power delivery project is meant to encourage new wind power generation. The line will run about 100 miles from a substation in Nordland County north to Balsfjord in Troms County. It will primarily be built parallel to an existing 420-kV line, with 62 miles of a 132-kV line to be replaced. (

Xian Electric signs MoU with Nigeria to build power transmission infrastructure

August 29, 2013. Xian Electric Engineering (Xian Electric) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian government to build power transmission lines and upgrade the country’s power transmission network. As per the MoU, the government will spend $500 mn over the next two years on the power transmission infrastructure. Export-Import Bank of China is expected to provide the funding for the projects. Manitoba Hydro International and Transmission Company of Nigeria (Manitoba Hydro) will be engaged to develop, upgrade and deliver transmission lines. The company will also construct new sub-stations in the country. Under the terms of the MoU, the ministry will provide the technical details of the Transmission Company of Nigeria's projects list to Xian Electric that will be considered for implementation and to facilitate the execution of needed commercial agreements as may be required for the bankability of the projects. (

ADB, Indonesia links transmission line with Malaysia for hydropower

August 29, 2013. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be providing a $49.5 million loan for the construction of a cross-border power transmission that will bring hydropower from Malaysia to Indonesia. The loan provided by ADB will be used to finance a 145-kilometer distribution line, distribution feeder extension, and a new substation that will be built to improve the reliability of power in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Additionally, an 83-km cross-border high-voltage transmission line and substation will be constructed to connect the West Kalimantan power grid to Sarawak, Malaysia. Currently, Perusahaan Listrik Negara, Indonesia's state-owned electricity company, uses oil for power generation in West Kalimantan, with costs up to $0.25 kilowatt-hour. But with the power exchange agreement, the cost of power in West Kalimantan could be cut to $0.18 per kWh, at the same time cutting 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2020. At present, ADB is preparing a second loan project to finance the transmission line on the Malaysia side. Completion of the project is expected by December 2014, and the power flow to begin in the start of January 2015. (

GE & XD Electric form global partnership for T&D

August 28, 2013. GE and XD Electric have launched a global transmission and distribution (T&D) partnership. With the new partnership, GE now owns a 15% stake in XD Electric and also holds one board seat. The partnership also includes the formation of a joint venture with XD to offer customers in China GE's localized grid automation equipment and services. (

Capital Power to sell three US power plants to Emera

August 28, 2013. Capital Power Corp has agreed to sell its three U.S. natural gas-fired power generation facilities in New England to Emera Inc for $541 million, to stabilize earnings and reduce its exposure to risk. Edmonton, Alberta-based Capital Power said the sale of the three merchant generation facilities reflects changes in the North American power markets in recent years. Several power companies have recently begun to sell or spin off their merchant units to focus on their rate-based regulated operations, as power prices hover near their lowest in a decade. The three plants being sold by Capital Power are Bridgeport Energy, a 520 MW power station in Bridgeport, Connecticut; Tiverton Power, a 265 MW power station in Tiverton, Rhode Island; and Rumford Power, a 265 MW plant in Rumford, Maine. (

Policy / Performance

Russian Rosatom to help extend life of Armenian nuclear power plant until 2026

September 3, 2013. Experts from Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Armenian experts have agreed to work on a project to extend the service life of the Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor for another 10 years until 2026, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. The plant is located some 30 km west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. According to experts, the plant can operate until 2016, however, the EU insists on shutting it down. Arka News Agency (

Abe to end ’ad hoc’ response to Fukushima nuclear crisis

September 3, 2013. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will spend whatever funds are necessary to contain the Fukushima nuclear disaster and will end the “ad hoc” response to the escalating crisis. The government is intervening after repeated leaks of radioactive water in the last month indicated the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is losing control of the site. The company reported one leak from a storage tank of about 300 tons of highly radioactive water. The nuclear regulator said it can no longer trust data from the utility. Abe said he’ll set up ministerial level commission to develop a solution to the water-management problem. Japan may spend 47 billion yen ($473 million) on steps that include constructing an underground frozen wall to block groundwater from flowing into basements at the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said. Motegi visited the plant and said the disaster response is being undermined by human error at the utility known as Tepco. (

Bhutan seeks more foreign investments in hydro power sector

September 2, 2013. Bhutan is looking at attracting more foreign investments and greater private participation in expanding the country's hydro power sector. Tata Power, among others, is already working on a hydel project in the neighbouring nation. At present, many of the hydel projects being developed in Bhutan are under an agreement between the two countries. The Indian government has agreed to develop 10,000 MW of hydro power in Bhutan by 2020. Under Indo-Bhutan co-operation, many hydel projects including 1,020 MW Tala plant are already functioning. Bhutan's Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that if there are delays, then the implementation and investment modalities could be re-looked into. Meanwhile, in response to a query, he said there is "no reason" to change the country's hydro power policy which was adopted by the earlier government. (

Meralco plans overseas borrowing to finance power-generation business

September 2, 2013. Meralco plans to borrow abroad to finance its capital expenditures, particularly its venture into the power generation business. A US Regulation S transaction refers to an overseas stock or bond sale by a company -- whether or not based in the US -- that need not file the usual documents that the US Securities and Exchange Commission normally requires for selling such securities. The Philippines' largest power distribution company has been looking to put up a power generation portfolio of 2,700 MW to help temper its rates and secure its electricity supply. (

‘Japan nuclear agency must focus on safety’

August 28, 2013. The mission of Japan’s nuclear regulator is too narrow and neglects the safety of local residents, said Hirohiko Izumida, the governor at the center of the debate over whether to restart Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant. Izumida’s approval is critical before Tepco, as Tokyo Electric is known, can go ahead with plans for the restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, the world’s largest nuclear power station by generating capacity. The governor’s comments come as Tepco grapples with ways to plug a toxic outflow of water from its wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo. The leak at a contaminated water storage tank, discovered at the Fukushima plant, may have continued since last month before it was detected and the tank drained, Tepco said. Japan’s nuclear regulator labeled the leak a “serious incident” in its worst assessment of the problems at Fukushima since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused reactors to melt down. (



Suzlon Energy plans to raise up to ` 50 bn

September 2, 2013. Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy will seek shareholders' approval to raise up to ` 5,000 crore through issue of securities. The proceeds would be utilised to meet the company's financial requirements. Suzlon plans to raise up to ` 5,000 crore by way of allotting equity shares, GDRs (Global Depository Receipts), ADRs (American Depository Receipts), FCCBs (Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds) or NCDs (Non Convertible Debentures) with warrants or such other securities. (

Leitwind Shriram bags ` 3.4 bn order from Neyveli Lignite

September 2, 2013. Leitwind Shriram Manufacturing Ltd said it has bagged an order worth ` 346 crore from Neyveli Lignite Corp for supply of wind turbines. The company -- a joint venture between Shriram Group and Italy-based Windfin BV -- is into design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind electric generators. Leitwind Shriram said it has received ` 346 crore order. The contract from Neyveli Lignite Corp is related to a 51 MW wind farm at Kaluneerkulam, Tamil Nadu, and is expected to be executed over a period of ten months. (

Rupee threatens India’s wind industry budding recovery

September 2, 2013. The rupee’s biggest plunge in 20 years is endangering the recovery of India’s $1.6 billion wind power industry as higher finance and import costs negate benefits from a government subsidy restored last month. The currency’s 16 percent slide against the dollar this year has stalled new investment plans, said Mahesh Makhija, director of renewables at the Indian unit of CLP Holdings Ltd, the largest owner of farms in India. Turbine makers such as Suzlon Energy Ltd and Gamesa Corp Tecnologica SA, who count India among their top three markets, may raise prices, he said. After a record 42 percent drop in installations in the 12 months through March, the industry is set to beat the U.S. for the first time this year after the government reintroduced a cash incentive in August. India, which is fighting to reduce blackouts that hold back economic growth, is seeking to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels and double clean energy capacity to about 57 GW by 2017. (

Nagaland to tap solar, wind energy

August 30, 2013. The Nagaland government has decided to tap solar and wind energy to mitigate the power crisis in the state. The department of new and renewable energy will cover all the 11 districts under the programme. In the first phase, Kohima and Dimapur have been declared “solar cities”. The programme aims to reduce the consumption of grid power with renewable energy in the two cities by 10 per cent over five years. Under the solar city programme, the department has inaugurated the Kohima City Cell and a 10kW solar power plant in Kohima. Streetlights and solar water heaters are being installed in and around the city. A solar power plant of 670kWp was recently installed in 47 directorates and offices of Kohima. For Dimapur, the final master plan for solar city has been submitted to the ministry for approval. Assistant director of new and renewable energy Inaho Awomi said with global warming threats being felt across the globe and the fast-depleting fossil fuel sending red signals, new and renewable energy was the only solution to alleviate the looming crisis. Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, solar plants of 742kWp have been installed in Kohima, Mon, Tuensang and Lumami in Zunheboto district. The ministry has sanctioned 4,200 solar streetlights to be put up in the villages under the Mission soon. Altogether 6,766 solar lanterns and 1,045 solar hole lights were distributed recently. The department will demonstrate renewable energy systems in places like Raj Bhavan in Kohima to create awareness about renewable energy. The department has purchased a mobile exhibition van fitted with renewable energy devices and three battery-operated solar bikes to create awareness. Akshay Urja shops have been opened at Kohima, Dimapur, Kiphire, Mokokchung and Tuensang for wider sale and service of all renewable energy devices and systems. (

Bengal to implement solar RPO this year

August 30, 2013.  In a bid to boost non-conventional energy production, the West Bengal government is set to implement the solar renewable purchase obligation (solar RPO) this year. The RPO mandates that every company generating, distributing and consuming power has to source around nine percent of its energy from renewable energy components. Renewable or non-conventional energy resources include wind, solar, hydro and biogas. The solar RPO policy devised for all the states, determines the amount of renewable energy production target to be achieved by each state and the country. It is part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. For West Bengal, the RPO targets are expected to go up to 0.60 percent in 2018 from 0.25 percent in 2013-2014. Companies which fail to fulfill their RPO targets will have to pay penalty as decided by the ERC. (

Demand for REC continue to dwindle

August 29, 2013. The fifth renewable energy certificate (REC) trading session of FY 14 held on 28th August, 2013, at IEX, saw IEX being the platform of choice with 76% market share. The session featured the trade of 31,101 N-Solar and 1,754 Solar RECs with supply far exceeding demand yet again. For non-solar RECs, buy bids of 31,101 RECs and sell bids of 18, 72,449 RECs were received against which 31,101 were cleared at ` 1,500 per REC. For solar RECs, buy bids of 1,754 RECs and sell bids of 23,338 RECs were received against which 1,754 RECs were cleared at ` 9,300 per REC. The trading session featured 736 market participants, of which 601 participated in non-solar segment while 135 participated in the solar segment. On an overall basis, a total of 1927 participants are registered in the REC segment at IEX. Of this, 486 are eligible entities (RE generators) 1428 are obligated entities (Discoms, Open access consumers & Captive generators) and 13 are registered as voluntary entities. Few demand for certificates are the result of non-implementation of penalty for obligated entities - companies and utilities that are to buy a definite quantity of REC every year. Although the rules exist that these obligated entities need to buy a certain quantity of REC, but in reality it had not happened till date. (

Rural Electrification Corporation plans to raise over ` 370 bn in current fiscal

August 29, 2013. Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) plans to raise over ` 37,000 crore this fiscal through various instruments. The company is already planning to raise ` 5000 crore through issue of tax-free bonds. The bond issue, carrying coupon rate ranging from 8.01 per cent to 8.46 per cent on per annum basis, will open and close on September 23. Rural Electrification Corporation is issuing tax-free bonds with a face value of ` 1,000. (

Waaree Energies to power 126 jails in Madhya Pradesh

August 29, 2013. Waaree Energies Ltd, a diversified and fast growing solar power solutions company bagged a turnkey order to design, engineer, supply, install and commission solar photovoltaic power plants. This order includes the installation of LED Lighting Fixtures in 126 number of jails aggregating to 305 KWP, in Madhya Pradesh. The installation process is near completion. The solar powered LED light fixtures will contribute significantly in terms of overhauling the existing infrastructures within the jails and will also ensure better security standards. Waaree Energies is continually exploring new opportunities in the eco-friendly space. With a vision to provide the society with a cleaner and greener, Waaree began its foray into the renewable energy market, in 2007. (


China solar defaults shock holders as $8.4 bn due

September 3, 2013. LDK Solar Co.’s delay in paying debt and Suntech Power Holdings Co.’s attempts to renegotiate obligations are prompting investors to gird for losses as $8.4 billion in renewable energy comes due by the end of next year. The 2014 securities of LDK slid to a record low of 25.6 yuan per 100 yuan face value after the manufacturer said a payment due Aug. 28 on the notes would be delayed. That compares with the 30 euros per 99.861 euro issue price on Bonn-based Solarworld AG. Suntech said former chairwoman Susan Wang and two other directors quit amid negotiations with holders of its defaulted debt. (

Keystone delays seen giving time for climate concessions

September 3, 2013. A decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline may slip into next year, giving opponents time to marshal efforts against it while offering President Barack Obama a chance to wring concessions from Canada. The U.S. State Department is reviewing TransCanada Corp.’s request to build the $5.3 billion link from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. The department said it won’t complete its environmental-impact review of the pipeline until after reviewing and publishing 1.5 million public comments it received, a months-long process that could be completed as soon as. Once the environmental assessment is completed, the department begins a 90-day review of whether Keystone is in the national interest, weighing factors such as foreign relations, national security and economic impact. After that, other agencies have 15 days to appeal, which would send the matter to Obama to adjudicate -- potentially pushing a decision into mid-December or January. (

China Sunergy presses India to abandon dumping probe

September 3, 2013. China Sunergy Co. and First Solar Inc. of the U.S. urged India to end an investigation into solar equipment dumping, saying the probe is undermined by errors. India, which has increased solar capacity more than 70-fold in less than three years, began examining claims that imported photovoltaic cells and modules had been sold below cost, hurting local manufacturers. The country has broken disclosure rules by withholding information that should have been available to all parties in the investigation, China Sunergy said. India also opened the probe without sufficient data to justify it legally, according to the company. (

Blue Earth to build 165 MW of solar power projects

September 3, 2013. Blue Earth Inc., a renewable-energy company, will build 165 MW of solar projects for the U.S. unit of Chinese panel manufacturer Zhongli Talesun Solar Co. and for developer New Generation Power LLC. Blue Earth’s Xnergy unit will act as an engineering, procurement and construction contractor for at least 147 MW of New Generation projects and for 18 MW of Talesun projects, the Henderson, Nevada-based company said. (

EU said to plan carbon-market aviation adjustment in Oct

September 2, 2013. The European Union (EU) plans to present a change to its emissions curbs on airlines in the first half of October that will take into account a decision by the United Nations on whether to pursue global measures to cut pollution by the industry. The European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, is considering limiting carbon-dioxide discharges by flights into and out of the 28-nation bloc only in European air space. The final proposal will depend on the outcome of the vote by the UN aviation agency. (

Water conference opens in Stockholm with wise supply plea

September 2, 2013. World Water Week opened in Stockholm with a plea for the energy, food and water industries to use scarce supplies more wisely and to clean up contaminated waters that help cause 5,000 deaths a day. Global water consumption is growing twice as fast as the population, creating supply and demand imbalances, according to Xylem Inc., the water company spun off by ITT Corp. Solutions include conservation, reuse and desalination systems to address the issue of reduced water quantity and quality, it said. (

New CSP plant to come up in Northern Cape, Africa

August 30, 2013. A new 50 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant is set to come up on the farm Bokpoort, near Upington, in the Northern Cape. The construction on the new plant began on 12 August 2013 and is expected to complete by 2015. The new plant will have a capacity to store eight to ten hours of electricity, which can be used as solar electricity at night. The CSP plant will also use wastewater during the process of photovoltaic power generation, which will be treated at the on-site wastewater treatment plant and returned to the CSP system. (

Global warming slowdown data sought in UN climate report

August 30, 2013. U.S. and European Union envoys are seeking more clarity from the United Nations on a slowdown in global warming that climate skeptics have cited as a reason not to “panic” about environmental changes, leaked documents show. They’re requesting that more details on the so-called “hiatus” be included in a key document set to be debated at a UN conference next month that will summarize the latest scientific conclusions on climate change. (

US providing $16 mn to capture power from tides and waves

August 30, 2013. The U.S. Energy Department is providing $16 million to back 17 projects related to capturing power from waves and tides. The recipients include Ocean Power Technologies Inc., which is developing a power buoy that produces electricity; ABB Ltd., which is building a compact generator; the University of Maine, which is studying the reactions of marine life to power systems; and Dehlsen Associates LLC, which is designing software to predict wave conditions. The agency has identified as much as 1,400 potential terawatt-hours of annual generating capacity from waves and tides. One terawatt-hour could power about 85,000 homes. (

Kenya to scale up wind power programme

August 30, 2013. Kenya plans to significantly scale up its wind power programme as part of an effort to increase the use of renewable energy in the country on a large scale. According to an announcement from the World Wind Energy Association, a delegation from the Kenyan government recently undertook a study tour through Germany and Denmark in order to consult with wind industry professionals, government officials and scientists on optimising a national wind power strategy. (

World's largest ice sheet may be more vulnerable to climate change than believed

August 29, 2013. A new research has claimed that East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be at a higher risk to the effects of climate change than previously believed. A team from Durham University's Department of Geography used declassified spy satellite imagery to create the first long-term record of changes in the terminus of outlet glaciers - where they meet the sea - along 5,400km of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet's coastline. The imagery covered almost half a century from 1963 to 2012. Using measurements from 175 glaciers, they were able to show that the glaciers underwent rapid and synchronised periods of advance and retreat which coincided with cooling and warming. The researchers said this suggested that large parts of the ice sheet, which reaches thicknesses of more than 4km, could be more susceptible to changes in air temperatures and sea-ice than was originally believed. (

Fracking fluids killed fish in Kentucky stream

August 29, 2013. Hydraulic fracturing fluids that spilled from natural gas wells in 2007 probably caused the “widespread death or distress” of fish in a Kentucky stream, according to the U.S. Interior Department. Chemicals that entered the Acorn Fork creek, about 120 miles southeast of Lexington, polluted water supplies and resulted in “a significant die-off” of species including the federally threatened Blackside dace, according to a government. The findings were from a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Fish & Wildlife Service. (

Toyota refines battery chemistry to improve next Prius

August 29, 2013. Toyota Motor Corp., which dominates the hybrid-vehicle market with its Prius, said the company’s next generation of batteries will be more efficient and improve mileage. Toyota’s future hybrids will have batteries with higher energy density and power. Toyota is “very motivated” to continue improving its Prius mileage after boosting fuel economy by about 10 percent with second- and third-generation models. The Toyota City, Japan-based company has mulled over the future of its Prius line and potential changes, such as a departure from the hybrids’ aerodynamic wedge shape, to boost demand. The carmaker is facing increasing competition from Ford Motor Co. hybrids and Tesla Motors Inc.’s fully electric cars after years of dominating the green-car market. (

Climate change may make Greenland greener by 2100

August 28, 2013. Climate change could lead to extensive growth of trees and bushes in large parts of Greenland - that are currently ice-free - by the end of the century, scientists predict. Scientists expect the future climate to become warmer, and that this will apply to the Arctic in particular. The temperature in the Arctic is expected to increase considerably more than the average on Earth, according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change average scenario (A1B). A very significant change will be the emergence of forests, where there are currently only four species of trees and large bushes indigenous to Greenland and they only grow in small areas in the south, researchers said. An international research group including Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, from Aarhus University in Denmark has analysed which species will be able to grow in the climate expected in Greenland in 2100. The analysis shows that a majority of 44 relevant species of North American and European trees and bushes will be able to grow in Greenland in the future. The researchers' models show that it will take more than 2000 years for Greenland's indigenous species of trees to spread to all those areas of the country that will have a suitable climate by 2100. (

EU says probe finds Chinese solar-panel makers got aid

August 28, 2013. The European Union said an investigation determined that Chinese solar-panel makers benefited from government subsidies, increasing the chance the EU will impose tariffs on imports from China of the renewable-energy technology. The probe opened last November found that Chinese manufacturers of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or panels, and cells and wafers used in them, received preferential lending, tax programs and other assistance, according to the EU. The inquiry is one of two the EU has begun into alleged unfair Chinese trade in these solar goods. The European Commission, the EU regulator in Brussels, approved an agreement with China to curb Chinese shipments of solar panels as part of a parallel probe into below-cost sales, a practice known as dumping. The accord, which took effect, sets a minimum price and a volume limit on EU imports of Chinese solar panels until the end of 2015. (

Oceans storing Earth’s excess heat in leaked UN report

August 28, 2013. The oceans are becoming a repository for almost all of Earth’s excess heat, driving up sea levels and threatening coastlines, according to a leaked draft of the most comprehensive United Nations report addressing climate science. Temperatures in the shallowest waters rose by more than 0.1 degree Celsius a decade for the 40 years through 2010, the study found. Average sea levels have increased worldwide by about 19 centimeters since 1901 and researchers said it’s “very likely” the system of ocean currents that includes the Gulf Stream will slow in the coming decades. (

China environment ministry suspends some approvals for Sinopec, CNPC

August 28, 2013. China's environment ministry will stop approving some new refining projects or the expansion or renovation of existing facilities by the country's top state-owned oil firms after they failed to meet key pollution targets in 2012. The ministry said China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) failed to meet targets to cut chemical oxygen demand in 2012, while Sinopec Group failed to meet a target to cut nitrogen oxide emissions. (

German wind-power market grows even as offshore projects delayed

August 28, 2013. Wind-power installations in Germany, the home of turbine makers Siemens AG and Nordex SE, rose 14 percent in the first half even as projects at sea were set back by installation and connection delays. Developers added 1,143 MW of turbines, including 105 MW offshore, up from 1,004 MW a year earlier. Germany is investing in clean energy as it shutters nuclear reactors. Its drive to raise the share of renewables to at least 35 percent of power use by 2020 from about 25 percent has driven growth in wind farms even as some were postponed by glitches in deep-water installation and an outmoded electrical grid. (

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