MonitorsPublished on Feb 06, 2016
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 34

[January 2016: Falling Oil Prices haunts Global Energy Markets]

                             “It is too early to assume that end of the fossil fuel age and the beginning of the alternative fuels age is just round the corner. Behind every solar panel and wind turbine are barrels of oil and tonnes of coal. If fossil fuels go down it is very likely that they will take renewables with them.…”

Energy News


The falling cost of oil services is an opportunity to explore deep water oil & gas blocks!                                   


Poor states declaring themselves as power self-sufficient signals stagnation of effective demand not abundant supply!   


Coal stocks will not be accumulating if markets rather than mandates set targets for production!




·          January 2016: Falling Oil Prices haunts Global Energy Markets


·          India: Import & Export Scenario of Crude Oil


·          Indian basket oil price stable around $31 per barrel



·          Pawan Hans plans offshore wing for oil, gas exploration

·          India's overseas oil resource target stymied by crude collapse

·          Cairn India may shut down on high cess


·          IOC aims to start Paradip crude unit

Transportation / Trade………………

·          GAIL seeks ethane import from US for $5 bn petrochem plant

·          GAIL buys two LNG cargoes

·          GSPC to restructure business to improve credit profile

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Low oil prices right time to explore deep water blocks: ONGC

·          Govt hikes excise duty on diesel by ` 1.5 a litre, on petrol by ` 1

·          PNGRB rejects IGL objection to CNG retailing

·          Govt to reimpose customs duty on crude oil imports

·          Govt to give priority to locally made goods in oil PSU tenders

·          India’s energy demand to double in next 25 yrs: ExxonMobil



·          Power generation at Kudankulam n-plant touches 350 MW

·          BHEL bags ` 27 bn order for 800 MW unit in Tamil Nadu

·          Assam to become power sufficient in near future: CM

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          GSECL invites global firms to develop, operate coal mine in Chhattisgarh

·          UP signs up for revival of discoms

·          PGCIL to invest ` 3.2 bn in 2 transmission projects

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Govt plans to allot 15 coal blocks to PSUs for commercial mining

·          Adani's coal project in Australia gets environmental approval

·          CIL in a fix over output, pricing

·          Snapdeal to hawk Modi govt's LED lamp scheme at ` 99

·          Power sector outlook 'stable to negative' in FY17: Ind-Ra

·          NITI Aayog to report on stalled hydro power projects

·          SC dismisses plea against land transfer for hydro project

·          Govt to exploit unviable coal mines to make urea: Gadkari

·          34 Schedule II coal mines to start production by March 31: Coal Secretary

·          PSPCL debt mounting despite A+ rating from power ministry

·          Coal Ministry to take CCEA nod for fuel supply to power projects

·          Govt asks CIL to liquidate pithead stock

·          Power Ministry to seek Cabinet nod for revised UMPP bid documents

·          BSES ties up with Paytm for payment of power bills



·          Statoil will explore offshore Uruguay

·          Greek oil producer Energean undaunted by price dip

·          CNOOC flows first oil from 2 Beibu Gulf Basin projects in South China Sea

·          Chevron expects first production from Gorgon LNG project in 1Q 2016

·          Kosmos Energy announces large gas discovery off Senegal

·          Petrobras slashes oil reserves to lowest level in 14 yrs

·          Iran pushes OPEC oil output to new high as sanctions are lifted

·          Total plans to lift up to 200k bpd of Iranian oil after deals

·          Bahrain's Banagas in $355 mn deal with Japan's JGC Corp for gas plant


·          Shell will sell its 51 percent stake in Malaysian refinery

·          Kuwait to set up company to run refinery complex

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Private Chinese company to pull out of Rosneft fuel oil supply deal

·          Total, Pertamina sign long-term LNG supply agreements

·          New Poland-Norway gas pipeline project planned by 2022

·          Leviathan partners sign $1.3 bn gas deal with Edeltech

·          Israel, Greece and Cyprus to explore gas pipeline to Europe

·          Japanese LNG buyers turning sellers as gas glut bites

·          Repsol sells gas distribution assets in Spain for €136 mn

·          Canada imposes further delays on two major pipeline projects

·          Enbridge to buy some Murphy Oil gas plants in British Columbia

·          UAE sees oil glut easing even with added Iran supplies

Policy / Performance………………

·          Greece to decide on three gas exploration licences soon: Energy Minister

·          A new global oil deal could draw lessons from 1998

·          Mozambique will approve LNG projects by late 2016

·          Hedge funds trim short positions in oil futures

·          EU signals support for Schaeuble's petrol tax proposal: magazine

·          Iran cancels London summit for new oil deals

·          Pakistan Finance Ministry reluctant to spend $300 mn on Gwadar pipeline

·          UK announces $720 mn funding package to boost oil and gas industry

·          Tanzania finalises land deal for delayed LNG project

·          Iran says low oil prices will not last long

·          Mexico Finance Minister says ready to support Pemex

·          IMF, World Bank discussing possible aid to oil exporter Azerbaijan



·          Egypt, Russia may start building nuclear power plant in 2018

·          Japan restarts its third nuclear reactor, Takahama-3

·          Monthly coal use for US power fell to 35 year low in November

·          China on course to meet 2020 nuclear capacity targets

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Indonesia's Salim buys huge Australian coal project from Rio Tinto

Policy / Performance………………

·          Vietnam will stop licensing new coal-fired power projects

·          China to draft nuclear safety law soon



·          India leads in venture funding for wind power

·          NLC to set up 50 MW solar power plant in Andaman

·          Remove hurdles to harnessing of renewable energy: J&K Governor

·          Kerala State to promote climate-smart farming

·          Rooftop solar panels in every household soon: Jharkhand

·          American companies keen to participate in National Solar Mission

·          Haryana gets sanction for 500 MW solar project

·          World Bank, POSOCO among first few this year to buy RECs

·          Solar projects bids in UP go to Adani Power and Azure Power

·          Essel Infraprojects commissions 50 MW solar power project in UP

·          PTC India arm awards 30 MW wind energy project to Gamesa India


·          Brexit may lose UK billions in funding for climate, renewables

·          Greece added only 8 MW of solar capacity in 2015

·          Norway says Arctic gas expansion depends on EU's climate plan

·          California upholds solar net metering scheme

·          Dubai opens consultancy tender for $27 bn green fund

·          Paris climate deal seen costing $12.1 tn over 25 yrs

·          New 210 MW solar power project approved in Argentina





International monthly energy briefing

January 2016: Falling Oil Prices haunts Global Energy Markets

Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Conventional Fuels

Oil & Gas


he month of January opened with the fall in the Chinese stock market along with the fall in the WTI and Brent price of crude oil to below $34/bbl, the lowest in 12 years. Analysts said that they expected Chinese oil consumption growth to fall to 300,000 bpd in 2016 from 500,000 bpd in 2015. A weaker Yuan was also expected to contribute to the decline in demand as a depreciating Yuan would make imported oil expensive. While the fall in oil prices to below $60/bbl was primarily thought to be on account of over-supply during a period of falling demand, the strong dollar was seen to responsible for its fall from $60/bbl to about $30/bbl. According to Morgan Stanley a 5% appreciation of the dollar could lead to a 10-25% fall in the price of crude oil. 

By the middle of January the price of crude dropped below $20/bbl and investment banks such as Morgan Stanley endorsed the position of Goldman Sachs that the price of crude will fall below $20/bbl. Standard Chartered stood out with a forecast of $10/bbl.  Some expect the 3 million bpd loss in production to boost prices early next year on the basis of the much quoted figure of $340 billion reduction in upstream spending by Wood Mckenzie.  Leading this camp is Citibank which expects prices to increase to $52/bbl by the end of this year. According to some analysts one third of US oil and gas producers could be forced into bankruptcy by next year if oil prices do not improve. Meanwhile the hope that OPEC would reduce production to prop up prices began fading.  The anticipated increase in production from Iran is expected to change OPEC position but only when production actually materialises. 

The depressing news on oil prices was followed by the sensational revelation from the deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia that his government is considering an IPO of Saudi Aramco. Many interpreted this as a sign of financial crisis brewing in the kingdom. Later the company chairman confirmed the interest and hinted at the possibility of a limited IPO. Aramco accounts for as much as 10% of global production and has about 260 billion barrels of conventional oil reserves under its control. The investment community is said to be eagerly awaiting this opportunity for investment in Aramco as even a 5% listing is expected to be worth trillions of dollars.

The sensational news on the lifting of oil sanctions on Iran led to speculations on how this will play out on positions taken by Saudi Arabia in OPEC and how the geo-political and oil rivalries between the two countries will affect global markets. Iran is reported to have 50 million barrels stored in tankers floating around the Persian Gulf.  Towards the end of January Saudi Arabia announced that it can survive low oil prices for a ‘long, long time’ probably hinting that it is ready to cut off its nose to spite Iran.   

The news on natural gas was far more depressing than that on oil. There was news that the Canadian Government had approved a 40 year LNG export licence to Royal Dutch Shell from its proposed terminal in the Pacific coast. A number of others are said to be in the queue for similar licenses. Shell’s final investment decision is not expected immediately but if it does make the decision to invest, the terminal could be operational by 2022. Cheniere Energy is expected to ship the first LNG cargo from the US coast by the end of February rather than in January as anticipated. High cost LNG terminals in Australia also began shipping their first cargoes this month. While Australia Pacific shipped its first cargo in the middle of January Gorgon LNG is also expected to come on-stream soon.  Many expect the problem of over-capacity to hit the LNG industry much harder than that of the oil industry and the high cost terminals in rich nations may be hardest hit. 

Natural Gas Prices


In other gas developments, the most notable was Argentina’s reported preliminary deal with an American company to develop its shale gas resources. The $ 500 million deal is expected to include a pilot project that will last till 2018. 


The Obama administration announced that there will be a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands until a comprehensive review programme the environmental impact of coal mining is completed.  Coal mining from federal lands accounts for 40% coal mined in the United Sates. This news was seen to be a blow to the coal industry which is already under tremendous stress from falling coal prices. China’s import of Australian coal was reported to have fallen by 30% in 2015. There were some expectations of a revival of coal prices on account of a cold snap in China but this was not expected to reverse the long term trend of terminal decline.  


The news of the impact of low energy prices on the renewable energy sector is yet to arrive but numbers for 2015 look good. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance $ 330 billion was invested in clean energy which was a 4% increase from the previous year. Solar installations amounted to 57 GW globally and wind installations amounted to 64 GW in 2015. It is too early to assume that end of the fossil fuel age and the beginning of the alternative fuels age is just round the corner. Behind every solar panel and wind turbine are barrels of oil and tonnes of coal. If fossil fuels go down it is very likely that they will take renewables with them. 

Views are those of the authors                    

Authors can be contacted at [email protected], [email protected]






India: Import & Export Scenario of Crude Oil

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Note: Values in ( ) are the Total Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products in Million Tonnes.


Source: Compiled from Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell


Indian basket oil price stable around $31 per barrel

Neeraj Tiwari, Observer Research Foundation

Text Box: What is Oil Supply Security Risk Index?
The Oil Supply Security Index aims to capture oil security of India using a simple quantitative methodology and represent the outcome (oil security index) in the form of a single number.  
The index aims to offer a simple gauge of India’s access to oil measured in terms of physical, financial, environmental, political and other parameters.
The index used here can take values from 0 to 100.  Higher the score higher is the risk.
The quantitative risk index does not claim high degree of accuracy.  As qualitative factors such as geopolitical risk are captured in quantitative form there is an element of simplification and generalisation that compromises on accuracy. The fact that only secondary sources of data are used also compromises on the level of accuracy.   The simplified quantitative index is designed to serve only as a reference to judge shifts or changes in risk.

Text Box:  





Pawan Hans plans offshore wing for oil, gas exploration

February 2, 2016. Helicopter service company Pawan Hans plans to create an offshore wing for oil and gas exploration as well as provide services in various offshore areas, including Goa, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar islands. Pawan Hans said it has outlined the business expansion plans to its stakeholders. The company plans to diversify its operations into seaplane, fixed wing operations, development of heliports, heli hubs and MRO apart from having skill development facilities. Meanwhile, the company paid a dividend of ` 3.80 crore to ONGC. Pawan Hans, jointly owned by the government and ONGC, has declared a total dividend of ` 7.76 crore for 2014-15. (

India's overseas oil resource target stymied by crude collapse

January 28, 2016. The chance to gobble up cheap assets after oil’s collapse to the lowest in 12 years is slipping out of reach for India’s biggest overseas producer. Oil’s rout has erased earnings at ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) threatening the company’s aim to more than double output by 2018. Production rose 6 percent in the year ended March 2015 to 8.87 million tons of oil equivalent, the company said. Oil’s collapse has wiped out the company’s buying power and has complicated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to secure supply for a nation that imports most of its oil and natural gas. The company in September agreed to pay $1.27 billion for a 15 percent stake in OAO Rosneft’s Vankor field, one of Russia’s largest projects. That gives it an annual production boost of about 3 million tons. The company produced 5.53 million tons of crude and condensate and 3.34 billion cubic meters of gas in the previous full fiscal year. The company has invested $23.8 billion in oil and natural gas assets outside India since its creation in 1965 until last year. It plans to increase output to 20 million tons of oil equivalent by March 2018 and 60 million tons by 2030. (

Cairn India may shut down on high cess

January 28, 2016. Cairn India, the nation’s largest onshore oil driller, may shut down its operations in the country due to high cess on oil output and the government’s failure to resolve a retrospective tax dispute, the company said. The move may trigger the exit of one of India’s largest investors in the hydrocarbons sector. Cairn India is one of the largest foreign investors in India with cumulative investments of $6.5 billion and has a capacity to produce 1.7 lakh barrels of oil a day. It has already cut back production of products that have become economically unviable. The cess on output of oil is fixed at 9 dollars a barrel, regardless of the oil price. So while this cess was less than 10 percent of costs when oil prices were $100 a barrel, it now accounts for about 33 percent with oil prices below $30. The company said in the long-term India’s import dependence for oil is expected to touch 90 percent from the present level of 75 percent of consumption at a time when oil prices may reverse upwards. (


IOC aims to start Paradip crude unit

February 1, 2016. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country's biggest refiner, aims to restart processing at its 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Paradip crude unit, the company said. IOC had shut the crude unit after a fire broke out at a vacuum distillation unit (VDU). The refiner has one crude unit, attached to the VDU. (

Transportation / Trade…………

GAIL seeks ethane import from US for $5 bn petrochem plant

January 31, 2016. GAIL (India) Ltd plans to import ethane from countries like the US for a $5 billion petrochemical plant it is setting up in Andhra Pradesh jointly with Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL). GAIL will be the second company after Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to plan import of ethane - a component of natural gas found in abundance in the Marcellus shale and used for making root chemical for plastics, resins, adhesives, and synthetic products. GAIL is seeking supplies of up to 1.3 million tons per annum of ethane for 15 years on the east coast of India beginning 2022. GAIL-HPCL are planning the petrochem project after their plans to team up with France's Total, Lakshmi N Mittal Group and Oil India Ltd (OIL) for a 15 million tons a year refinery-cum-petrochemical plant at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh fell through. That project fell as partners pulled out one after the other due to weak global demand. RIL plans to import 1.5 million tons of ethane annually from the US to substitute its current propane imports and a portion of naphtha used for ethylene production. Imports could start as early as end-2016. The company has executed storage and capacity agreements for liquefaction of ethane with a North American terminal and has also ordered six VLECs (Very Large Ethane Carriers) for transporting ethane to India. GAIL-HPCL plan to set up an ethane cracker plant. The plant will make ethylene, which is the most commonly produced petrochemical. The five-way alliance of HPCL, explorer OIL, GAIL (India) Ltd, Mittal Investment Sarl and Total in October 2007 had signed a memorandum of understanding to look at the feasibility of setting up the Vizag project. (

GAIL buys two LNG cargoes

January 29, 2016. GAIL (India) Ltd has purchased a total of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from BG and Qatar. BG will supply a cargo for delivery in February, while Qatar's cargo is for March. The February cargo sold for around $5.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), while the March cargo was mid $4s. (

GSPC to restructure business to improve credit profile

January 27, 2016. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp Ltd (GSPC) is restructuring its business to improve its credit profile. According to the scheme, GSPC will hive-off its participating interest in the Krishna-Godavari Deen Dayal West (KG-DDW) block and its related assets and liabilities to GSPC Offshore. The remainder of GSPC's businesses (including exploration and production blocks other than KG-DDW, gas trading, wind power generation, and investments in subsidiaries and associates) will be amalgamated into GSPC Energy. The scheme is subject to approval by lenders, the Gujarat High Court, other relevant regulators, and is to be completed by March. (

Policy / Performance………

Low oil prices right time to explore deep water blocks: ONGC

February 2, 2016. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said that in order to best benefit from low exploration costs resulting from falling international oil prices, the focus should be on exploration in frontier and deep water blocks where the lead period is 7 to 8 years. This is a time for reserves-building in areas where the lead time is more than 7-8 years and incentivizing exploration activities in frontier and deep water areas, ONGC's executive director, exploration, Anand Sahu at the India Energy Forum (IEF) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF)-organised Petro India Conference, said. The investment levels over the next several years in the oil sector will be significantly lower than the previous 10 year annual average in view of fall in oil prices and relationship between oil prices and upstream investment, he said. Noting that nearly all the major oil and gas companies have reduced their capital investment budgets for 2015 and are delaying new projects, Sahu said that with oil prices having plunged to below $30 a barrel levels, the capital available for exploring new basins is tightening, which makes it a daunting task for India to reverse the investment trends in upstream sector. In this connection, he also said that the government has allowed exploration of shale gas and shale oil by ONGC and Oil India. (

Govt hikes excise duty on diesel by ` 1.5 a litre, on petrol by ` 1

January 30, 2016. The government hiked excise duty on petrol by ` 1 per litre and by ` 1.5 a litre on diesel, the fourth increase in duties in less than six weeks. Basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol has been increased from ` 8.48 per litre to ` 9.48 and the same on unbranded diesel from ` 9.83 to ` 11.33 per litre, a notification of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said. The hike will not result in any increase in retail selling price of the two fuels as it would adjust against the reduction in rates that may have been possible because of the slide in international oil prices. The increase in excise duty will fetch the government over ` 3,200 crore during the remainder period of the fiscal. The government had on January 15 hiked excise duty on petrol by ` 0.75 per litre and by ` 2 a litre on diesel. Taken together with the November 7, 2015 increase in excise duty on petrol of ` 1.60 per litre and diesel by 30 paise, this is the fifth hike in levies this fiscal. (

PNGRB rejects IGL objection to CNG retailing

January 29, 2016. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has rejected Indraprastha Gas Ltd's objections to procedure followed in ending its exclusivity in retailing CNG in the National Capital, sending its stock crashing by nearly 8 percent. The PNGRB said IGL's exclusivity to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in the National Capital has expired on January 1, 2012. Subsequent to this, the company's city gas distribution (CGD) network of pipelines is to be opened for access by third parties. In its order, PNGRB said it had accepted the central government authorisation of IGL for Delhi CGD network on January 9, 2009, and as per its regulations exclusivity period for an existing entity was three years. IGL had challenged this regulation before the PNGRB. (

Govt to reimpose customs duty on crude oil imports

January 28, 2016. The government had cut customs duty on crude oil imports to zero from 5 percent in June 2011 when rates zoomed to over USD 100 per barrel. But with oil prices hovering at USD 30 a barrel now, the duty may be back. As the government looks to shore up its revenue without hurting economic growth, reimposing import duty on crude oil presents a viable alternative the Budget 2016-17 to be presented on February 29. Alongside, customs duty on petroleum products, petrol and diesel may also be increased in equal proportion to duty levied on domestic refiners. Petrol and diesel currently attract 2.5 percent import duty. This duty differential is maintained so as to protect domestic industry by making import of product costlier as compared to domestic manufacturing. If import duty on crude oil is raised in the budget for 2016-17, it would go up on allied products too from 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent. At USD 30 per barrel crude oil price, 5 percent customs duty will fetch the government close to ` 18,000 crore at current levels of imports. (

Govt to give priority to locally made goods in oil PSU tenders

January 27, 2016. State-run oil and gas companies may have to give preference to suppliers that meet a minimum local content criteria specified by the government if a new proposal is implemented. The Centre has opened for consultation the purchase preference proposal as part of its Make in India initiative to boost local manufacturing and generate jobs. This will help develop an ecosystem for domestic manufacturing in the hydrocarbons sector, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The government has specified minimum percentage of local content needed for different product categories and suppliers meeting these cut-offs will get a preference in purchases by state firms such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Oil India Ltd, GAIL and Indian Oil Corp. In the tendering process, if the lowest bidder is found not complying with the minimum domestic content limit, the one complying with the domestic limit and with a bid within 10% of the lowest bid, will get a chance to match. The consultation will close in three weeks, following which the oil ministry will finalise the policy. The government has also been trying hard to ensure that at least three ships are made locally that can ferry liquefied natural gas (LNG) for state-run gas marketer GAIL. This, however, hasn't been smooth with GAIL having to push deadlines for procuring LNG carriers several times. (

India’s energy demand to double in next 25 yrs: ExxonMobil

January 27, 2016. India’s energy demand is likely to almost double in next 25 years as the economy is estimated to expand to USD 9 trillion by 2040, US oil major ExxonMobil said in its Energy Outlook 2040. India’s energy demand is likely to rise from 34 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) to 47 quadrillion BTUs in 2025 and 63 quadrillion BTUs in 2040. During this period, the world energy demand is projected to rise by 26 per cent to 703 quadrillion BTUs, with India’s share in world energy demand rising from 6 per cent in 2014 to 9 per cent in 2040. China and India also lead the developing world in raising standards of living and achieving technology improvements. Together, China and India will account for almost half the projected growth in global energy demand to 2040. (



Power generation at Kudankulam n-plant touches 350 MW

February 2, 2016. Power generation at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant's Unit-1 has touched 350 MW after operations resumed following a 24-hour shut down for monitoring the turbine and conducting some tests. The power generation slowly increased and touched 350 MW. The generation would increase and reach its full capacity of 1000 MW in a few days.  Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant started commercial operations on December 31, 2014 and was shut down for maintenance from June 24 last year. (

BHEL bags ` 27 bn order for 800 MW unit in Tamil Nadu

February 1, 2016. Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) said that it has bagged an order of ` 2,759 crore for setting up a unit of supercritical thermal power project in Tamil Nadu. Valued at ` 2,759 crore, the main plant package contract for the 1x800 MW North Chennai Supercritical TPS Stage III, has been placed on BHEL by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). The project shall be commissioned by August, 2019. North Chennai Supercritical TPS Stage III is located in Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu and power generated from this plant will help in fostering growth of the state and provide easy access to electricity to the people of Tamil Nadu.

Assam to become power sufficient in near future: CM

January 27, 2016. With a host of power generation projects in the pipeline, Assam will become power-sufficient in near future, Chief Minister (CM) Tarun Gogoi said. He said that power sector reforms, undertaken by his government since 2003, could improve the power scenario “considerably” in the state over the years. Apart from normal budgetary support, the state government has taken up the Assam Power Sector Development Programme, a reform oriented project, with assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB). Gogoi claimed Assam’s own generation of power has increased from 935 million units in 2001 to 1895 now. Similarly, per capita availability of power too has increased from 83 units in 2001 to 232 units and the number of consumers went up from 900,000 to 3.3 million now. More than twenty four thousand villages have so far been electrified as against 12,800 in 2001. Similarly, 1.9 million rural households have electricity connectivity now as compared to 698,000 million in 2001. Since undertaking reforms, which begun with unbundling of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) into five corporations in 2004, the state government had invested more than ` 2,000 crore for capacity augmentation and infrastructure upgrade of the power sector. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

GSECL invites global firms to develop, operate coal mine in Chhattisgarh

February 1, 2016. Gujarat State Electricity Corp Ltd (GSECL) has invited bids from global firms for developing and operating its coal mine in Chhattisgarh. The move comes at a time when the Centre is eyeing coal output of 1.5 billion tonnes and providing 24x7 electricity to all. Gare Palma Sector-I coal mine located in Mand Raigarh Coalfield in Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh was allotted to GSECL by the Coal Ministry last year. (

UP signs up for revival of discoms

January 31, 2016. Uttar Pradesh (UP) became the first non-BJP ruled state to sign an agreement to join the UDAY scheme for revival of discoms, a move that is expected to result in savings of ` 33,000 crore. Under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), the UP government will take over ` 39,900 crore of debt of the electricity distribution utilities. The balance ` 13,300 crore of debt will be issued as state guaranteed DISCOM bonds at coupon rates that are 3% lower than the current interest cost. This would help save the distribution utilities ` 1,600 crore annually. Efficiency measures including reduction of AT&C losses will help bring additional revenue of ` 17,700 crore to the distribution utilities. Besides helping the discoms to bring about financial turnaround, UDAY lays stress on improving their operational efficiencies. With this, the ratings of the discoms are also expected to improve, which would help them in raising cheaper funds for their future capital investment requirement. This is expected to provide interest cost saving of around ` 200 crore to the discoms. UP expects to start issuing the bonds by the second week of February. (

PGCIL to invest ` 3.2 bn in 2 transmission projects

January 28, 2016. Power Grid Corp of India Ltd (PGCIL) said it would invest about ` 328 crore in ramping up two transmission projects. These investment proposals were approved by the company's board of directors at a meeting on January 27, PGCIL said. Investment approval for Western Region System Strengthening Scheme-XIV in Southern Region at an estimated cost of ` 120.67 crore with a commissioning schedule of 30 months from the date of investment approval has been accorded by the board, the company said. It said that the board has also approved an investment for 400-kv bays extension at 400-kv Vemagiri sub-station at an estimated cost of ` 207.9 crore, with a commissioning schedule of 30 months progressively from the date of investment approval. (

Policy / Performance………….

Govt plans to allot 15 coal blocks to PSUs for commercial mining

February 2, 2016. Moving ahead with its decision to open up the coal sector for commercial mining, government has identified 15 blocks to be allotted to central and state PSUs for undertaking production and sale of the dry fuel. With the allotment, the Centre’s monopoly over mining and sale of coal will come to an end. Preliminary exploration in most of these blocks through initial drilling has been done, which is known as regional exploration. In the initial stage of exploration, Geological Survey of India (GSI) undertakes regional exploration of large areas to find out the broad availability of coal seams, geological structure, resources etc. Detailed exploration of the blocks will follow once they are allotted to state or central PSUs. For the first time in over 40 years, the government is throwing open the coal sector for commercial mining, which at present is being undertaken by the central PSU Coal India. The Cabinet recently gave its approval for allotting coal mines to central and state PSUs for sale of coal, especially to medium, small and cottage industries, under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015. The decision was in line with the government’s target of doubling coal production to 1.5 billion tonne by 2020. Of this it has fixed a target of 1 billion tonne of coal production by Coal India Ltd (CIL) by 2020. (

Adani's coal project in Australia gets environmental approval

February 2, 2016. Indian mining giant Adani's plan to build one of the world's largest coal mines in Australia moved closer to realization after the Queensland state gave environmental approval to the $16.5 billion controversy-hit project but with about 140 conditions. Queensland State’s department of environment and heritage protection (EHP) said it has issued a final environmental authority (EA) for Adani's Carmichael Mine project in the Galilee Basin. The project is located near the fragile Great Barrier Reef. The department said the conditions include nine provisions relating to the black-throated finch, an endangered species, as required by a court. The project has already secured clearance from the federal government. Adani's plan to build one of the world's largest coal mines in Australia has been hampered time and again. A federal court in August last year had revoked the original approval due to a bureaucratic bungle over two vulnerable species -- the yakka skink and the ornamental snake. In October last year, the project got a new lease of life after the Australian government gave its re-approval but with 36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history amid environmental concerns. (

CIL in a fix over output, pricing

February 1, 2016. Coal India Ltd (CIL) is facing dilemma over production and finding it difficult to further stock the fuel, even as the PSU major is not keen to rationalise prices and rather looks at methods to boost sales to keep weak subsidiaries in profit. CIL has reached a situation when the production cannot be optimised due to inability to stock coal further, which has already reached 40 million tonnes (mt) due to sluggish demand. Combined stocks of thermal coal at 101 power plants in the country have risen to a new record of 34.2 mt. CIL expects its dues will rise in the coming months as payment schedules has to be relaxed to push coal. Lower demand from state generation companies and continuing easing of international coal price has multiplied the problem. The dilemma is despite the fact that under the circumstances government wants coal production growth should continue at the same rate of over 9 percent. (

Snapdeal to hawk Modi govt's LED lamp scheme at ` 99

February 1, 2016. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a special purpose vehicle formed by state-run companies under the power ministry, has tied up with Snapdeal, one of the major online marketplace in the country, for selling these energy-efficient bulbs. EESL is implementing the Narendra Modi government's programme to financially assist consumers to replace less efficient CFL or incandescent lights with latest light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. The scheme is aimed at saving thousands of crores for consumers and reducing demand as well as carbon emission. A tie-up with Snapdeal would help the government to expand its marketing and distribution reach across over 5,000 cities and towns to push use of LED bulbs beyond DELP. The tie-up comes on the back of prices dropping to ` 64.41 each, excluding taxes, for a 9 W bulb from existing ` 73, in a procurement tender for the scheme in Madhya Pradesh. EESL has so far distributed nearly 5.6 crore bulbs. This has resulted in saving daily peak demand of 1,735 MW - or nearly a third of Delhi's consumption - amounting to daily cost saving of over ` 7,000 crore and reducing greenhouse emissions equivalent to 16,092 tonne of CO2. The government wants to replace all the 77 crore incandescent bulbs sold in India with LED bulbs. This would result in reduction of 20,000 MW load, energy savings of 105 billion units and reduce greenhouse gas emission equivalent to 80 million tonnes of CO2 every year. The annual saving in electricity bills is estimated at ` 40,000 crore, considering an average tariff of ` 4 per unit. (

Power sector outlook 'stable to negative' in FY17: Ind-Ra

February 1, 2016. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has maintained a 'stable to negative' outlook on the power sector for the next financial year as the plant load factor (PLF) of plants is expected to remain low amid muted growth in electricity demand, India Ratings said. The rating agency expects power demand to grow modestly at 4-5 percent and power generation at 5-6 percent in FY 2016-17, with deficits remaining low at 3-4 percent. The PLFs of the thermal power plants are likely to remain low as demand growth remains muted. Moreover, as the renewable energy share increases, it could exert additional pressure on the PLFs of coal-based plants. It said state electricity distribution companies (discoms) are still to see a financial turnaround, despite the announcement of Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, which is a welcome move to bring about operational efficiencies and a financial turnaround. The agency expects the coal output to increase by 10 percent in the next financial year to reach 594 metric tonnes, given the government's focus on achieving the targeted one billion metric tonnes by 2020 and on the back of the strong performance this financial year. (

NITI Aayog to report on stalled hydro power projects

January 31, 2016. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has asked NITI Aayog to prepare a report on stalled hydroelectric power projects which have held up large-scale investment as the government aims to provide 24x7 electricity across the country. The government think-tank has also been asked to include the reasons for the projects are getting delayed in its report. NITI Aayog has been asked to prepare the report within three months. The proposed hydro capacity addition during the 12th Plan period is 10,897 MW. However, up to December 2015, the actual capacity addition is only 3,651.02 MW which is 33.5 per cent of the proposed capacity addition, according to data by Central Electricity Authority (CEA). Of the country's total installed capacity of 2,84,303.39 MW as on December 31, 2015, large hydro capacity is 42,623.42 MW and small hydro capacity is 4,147 MW, CEA data said. Hydro power projects are generally categorised in two segments -- small and large hydro. Hydro projects of up to 25 MW capacities have been categorised as small hydro power projects. Power ministry is responsible for large hydro projects, while the mandate for the subject small hydro power is given to ministry of new and renewable energy. India has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 5 GW of small hydro power. (

SC dismisses plea against land transfer for hydro project

January 31, 2016. Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation (THDC) brass has heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a petition challenging the timing of the transfer of 80.502 hectare of forest land for the Vishnugad-Pipalkoti project in Chamoli district. The petition had alleged that forest land for the 444 MW Vishnugad-Pipalkoti hydro power project was transferred to THDC on December 6, 2013 barely six months after the Kedarnath tragedy that happened in July the same year. The SC dismissed the petition after the state government submitted that the transfer of land had happened much before the tragedy. (

Govt to exploit unviable coal mines to make urea: Gadkari

January 30, 2016. The government will soon exploit economically unviable coal mines for gasification to produce cheaper urea to cut down on huge ` 55,000 crore annual subsidy on the fertilizer, the Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. Four of the 30 chemical and fertilizer factories in India produce urea from naphtha, the cost of which comes to around ` 40,000 a tonne, he said. The remaining 26 use gas, cost of which comes to $15 to 20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) and hence the urea produced is very costly. He said the government is importing urea from China which is making it through coal gasification. The minister said as far as the international scenario is concerned, efforts were on to set up a urea factory at Chabahar where the government is setting up a port. For agriculture growth and development of rural economy it is very important to reduce the price of urea, he said. (

34 Schedule II coal mines to start production by March 31: Coal Secretary

January 29, 2016. The country has 34 Schedule-II mines, including one in Odisha. Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said around 10 mines have already started mining and others are in the process of mining. This will further augment the availability of coal in the country. Swarup said surplus coal is available all over the country. The power plants, which used to have coal inventory of five to seven days in previous years, have stock for around 25 days this time, he said. Swarup said the government targets to increase coal production to one billion tonnes by Coal India Ltd (CIL) by 2020. (

PSPCL debt mounting despite A+ rating from power ministry

January 28, 2016. The Punjab State Power CorpLtd (PSPCL) is "sinking into a debt trap" with ` 17,117 crore as the gap between its revenue expenditure and income over the last three years. PSPCL submitted its tariff and annual revenue requirement petition for 2016-2017 before the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), which is yet to consider the proposed hike in the tariff. The figures in the petition show that the annual revenue gap, which was ` 1,090 crore in 2012-2013 will be reaching ` 5,141 crore in 2016-2017, as projected by the PSPCL. Total loan burdern of PSPCL, which was ` 18,736 crore on April 1, 2012, will be ` 27,950 crore in April 2017. The loan is incurring interest charges to the tune of ` 2,430 crore falling in the year 2012-2013. The interest amount will be ` 3,030 crores in 2016-2017, PSPCL had admitted in its petition to the regulator. PSPCL said that the company was in profit of ` 509 crore during the period starting from 2012-13 to 2013-14. PSPCL said that in 2015-16, corporation's loss would be to the tune of ` 1,700 crore. PSPCL said the corporation got an A+ grading from the Union government on account of various factors, including profit margin. PSPCL said that private sector thermal plants were more efficient as their coal consumption was ` 2.50 per unit whereas the state-run facilities were incurring a cost of ` 3.50 per unit. The power engineer's body alleged that the PSPCL was inflating the amount of electricity supplied to the farm sector by 876 million units, thereby it was claimed that the distribution losses had reduced considerably. (

Coal Ministry to take CCEA nod for fuel supply to power projects

January 28, 2016. The Coal Ministry will seek the nod of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for coal supplies to power projects with a total capacity of 30,000 MW as some of these plants are likely to get commissioned next fiscal. This assumes significance as the government is looking to provide round-the-clock power to everyone across the country. Supply of coal is through legally enforceable fuel supply agreements (FSAs). New consumers need to approach the existing Standing Linkage Committee (LT) under the Coal Ministry for recommendation for issue of Letter of Assurances (LOAs) by coal companies, as per a provision of the New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP). Power producers with 30,000 MW had earlier approached the ministries of power and coal for early signing of FSAs to remove uncertainty and bring in clarity. These projects were not covered as part of the list of 78,000 mw of capacity for FSAs through a presidential directive issued after CCEAs nod during the UPA rule. CCEA had earlier asked Coal India to sign FSAs for a total capacity of 78,000 MW, including cases of tapering linkage, which are likely to be commissioned by March 31, 2015. (

Govt asks CIL to liquidate pithead stock

January 28, 2016. The government is pushing Coal India Ltd (CIL) to liquidate about 40 million tonnes of unsold coal piling up at pitheads of mines. Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal did not revise the coal production target of 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020. Of this, CIL is expected to produce one billion tonnes, but production may be affected if there is lacklustre demand of coal from the industry. The minister said he was able to reduce stress in the power sector by resolving issues facing thermal power plants with 30,000 MW capacity. Goyal said that government was working on structural and fundamental changes in the economy. Regarding the power sector, he said the Uday scheme will solve the problems facing state discoms. He said the ministry was exploring ways to extend the benefits of Uday to states which are unable to unbundle their utilities. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had verbally assured him that the state would join the scheme, he said. (

Power Ministry to seek Cabinet nod for revised UMPP bid documents

January 27, 2016. Power Ministry will seek Cabinet approval for revised bidding documents for Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs), paving the way for auctioning three plants entailing an investment of over ` 80,000 crore by March-end. The investment for a UMPP of 4,000 MW has been revised from ` 20,000 crore to about ` 27,000 crore recently on the basis of rise in prices of coal and land. Once approved by the Cabinet, the auction for domestic coal-based UMPPs can be conducted. The government has planned to auction three UMPPs by March-end. Power Minister Piyush Goyal had also said the auctions would have a mix of old and new UMPPs. He had indicated that the UMPPs in Banka in Bihar, Tilaiya in Jharkhand, Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu and Bedabahal UMPP in Odisha are likely to go under hammer. The bidding for Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand is also expected this fiscal as the 18 procurers of power across 10 states from the project have agreed in-principle to accept the termination letter served by Reliance Power. Reliance Power has also sought to exit the stalled 4,000 MW Krishnapatnam UMPP on the lines of Tilaiya UMPP. Government had aborted bidding for Cheyyur (Tamil Nadu) and Bedabahal (Odisha) due to tepid private sector response in January last year. (

BSES ties up with Paytm for payment of power bills

January 27, 2016. Power major BSES has entered into a pact with mobile commerce platform 'Paytm' under which consumers stand to earn up to ` 200 cash back on payment of bills a week before the due date. For all other payments before the due date, the scheme, which will be valid through February and March, has among its provisions a ` 150 cash-back offer, BSES said. Consumers of both discoms BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) are eligible for the offer and they can make payment through various options including Debit Card, Credit Card, Net Banking and Paytm Wallet. Additionally, they will also get a chance to participate in a 'bumper lucky draw' to be held in April, where they can get a chance to win gifts such as bikes, LED TVs, washing machines, refrigerators. (



Statoil will explore offshore Uruguay

February 2, 2016. Norwegian oil company Statoil has agreed with Total E&P Uruguay to acquire a 15% working interest in offshore exploration block 14 in Uruguay, pending governmental approval. Total retains a 50% working interest, while ExxonMobil owns a 35% working interest. The Block 14 is located in the Pelotas basin of the South Atlantic Ocean, and was awarded to Total in 2012. The companies are preparing to drill the Raya prospect during the first half of 2016 and will decide on further steps based on the results of the well. This acquisition marks the entry of Statoil on the Uruguayan market. The company is already active in Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela and Suriname. (

Greek oil producer Energean undaunted by price dip

February 2, 2016. Energean Oil & Gas, Greece’s only hydrocarbon producer, will seek financing from the nation’s lenders to boost domestic production and expand internationally despite low crude prices, Chief Executive Officer Mathios Rigas said. Energean has begun a $200 million investment plan for 2015-2018 aimed at raising production at the Prinos basin in the north Aegean Sea to 10,000 barrels a day by the end of 2017 from 3,000, Rigas said. The company is seeking support from local lenders, with a foreign bank taking the lead, he said. The first of 15 wells planned by Energean in Greece to develop 30 million barrels of proven and probable reserves in the Prinos, Epsilon and Prinos North oil fields started up at the end of December, he said. The drilling of a second well in Prinos has started while five more wells are scheduled for 2016. The company signed a six-year contract in January 2014 for BP to buy all current and future oil production from Prinos. (

CNOOC flows first oil from 2 Beibu Gulf Basin projects in South China Sea

February 2, 2016. China's CNOOC Ltd commenced production from the Weizhou 12-2 oilfield joint development project and the Weizhou 11-4 North oilfield Phase II project, both located in the Beibu Gulf Basin of the South China Sea. The Weizhou 12-2 project, which lies in an average water depth of approximately 118 feet (36 meters), has three oilfields, comprising the Weizhou 12-2 oilfield, the Weizhou 12-1 West oilfield and the north part of Weizhou 11-2 oilfield. CNOOC indicated that the main production facilities include three wellhead platforms and 18 production wells, currently producing a total of 16,000 barrels of crude oil per day and reaching its designed peak production. Meanwhile, the Weizhou 11-4 North project -- situated in average water depths of around 131 feet (40 meters) -- shares the existing adjacent facilities for the development. Facilities for the project consisted of two wellhead platforms and 15 producing wells. The Chinese state-owned firm revealed that only one well is currently in operations, producing around 500 barrels of crude oil per day and peak production of approximately 8,000 barrels per day is expected from the project within the year. The company announced the commencement of first oil from the Kenli 10-4 field in the South of Bohai. (

Chevron expects first production from Gorgon LNG project in 1Q 2016

February 1, 2016. Chevron Corp. indicated that first production from the Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project offshore Western Australia is expected in the first quarter of 2016, the company said. The field operator will ramp up Train One of the Gorgon Project -- which had been delayed by cost overruns and labor issues -- in the months ahead. Gas for the Train One startup will be supplied from the Jansz-lo wells, which have been successfully flow-tested following positive initial performance indications. The startup of the Gorgon Project follows the final investment decision made by Chevron and joint venture partners in 2009 to go ahead with the development, which was estimated then to cost $37 billion and subsequently revised upwards to $54 billion. Turning to the Wheatstone Project, which lies around 90 miles offshore Western Australia, Chevron expected that first LNG will flow around mid-2017. The upstream portion of the project, including hookup and commissioning of the offshore platform, is currently progressing. (

Kosmos Energy announces large gas discovery off Senegal

February 1, 2016. US upstream oil and gas company Kosmos Energy has announced that it had made a significant gas discovery in its Guembeul-1 exploration well in the northern part of the St. Louis Offshore Profond license area in Senegal. Kosmos holds a 60% interest in the Guembeul-1 well, along with Timis (30%) and Petrosen (10%). This discovery raises the company's gross resource estimate for the Tortue West structure from 8 to 11 trillion cubic feet (from 225 to 310 billion cubic meters) and the gross resource estimate for the Greater Tortue Complex has increased to 17 trillion cubic feet from 14 trillion cubic feet (from 395 to 480 billion cubic meters). (

Petrobras slashes oil reserves to lowest level in 14 yrs

January 29, 2016. Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras slashed its oil and natural gas reserves 20 percent, hit by a plunge in energy prices, a heavy debt load, high costs and a corruption scandal. Petrobras reduced proven reserves to 10.52 billion barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent (boe) as of Dec. 31, their lowest since 2001, according to standards set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Petrobras booked 13.13 billion boe a year earlier. Petrobras said its reserves now account for 11.3 years of output, down 24 percent from 14.7 years in 2014. Petrobras has spent about $350 billion on expansion in the last decade, a period when it made some of the world's largest-ever offshore discoveries. The company, though, now has less commercially viable oil and gas than it did 14 years ago, when as a cash-poor oil producer slowly but steadily increased reserves and output to reduce Brazil's crippling dependence on foreign imports. (

Iran pushes OPEC oil output to new high as sanctions are lifted

January 29, 2016. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil production has jumped to its highest in recent history in January as Iran increased sales following the lifting of sanctions and its rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq also boosted supply, the survey showed. Rising output in the OPEC further aggravates the market share battle between top global producers. In the past year this has flooded the market with new barrels, creating one of the worst oil gluts in history and helping send prices to a 12-year low. The January supply figures contrast with statements from multiple OPEC officials and recent comments from non-OPEC Russia about the need to cooperate and possibly restrain supply to help oil prices to recover. Iran provided the biggest increase in supply among the OPEC members, the survey found. Sources familiar with the matter say Iran is reluctant to restrain supply as it wants to recover market share and feels that the economic benefits of lifting sanctions offset the drop in oil prices. OPEC supply has risen in January to 32.60 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 32.31 million bpd in December, according to the survey, based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants. Top exporter Saudi Arabia has boosted output as higher exports offset lower usage in domestic power plants, the survey said. Saudi production reached a record high of 10.56 million bpd in June. Iraq, the world's fastest-growing source of supply growth in 2015, also increased output in January, led by higher exports from its southern terminals. Nigerian output rose due to higher scheduled exports, sources in the survey said, but loading programs suggest this will not be sustained, and will fall next month. (

Total plans to lift up to 200k bpd of Iranian oil after deals

January 28, 2016. French oil and gas major Total plans to purchase up 200,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude under a framework agreement signed. The deal was among the over two dozen business and trade agreements signed by a 120-member visiting Iranian delegation in Paris led by President Hassan Rouhani. Total said the agreement will allow it to access technical data on some oil and gas projects in Iran to assess potential developments. It also included a framework agreement for purchase of Iranian crude oil for French and European refineries. Total said that the framework agreement will allow to the firm to buy between 150,000 to 200,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil. (

Bahrain's Banagas in $355 mn deal with Japan's JGC Corp for gas plant

January 27, 2016. Japan's JGC Corp has signed a $355 million deal with Bahrain's Banagas to build the expansion of a gas plant in the Gulf state. The plant is expected to accommodate 350 million cubic feet of additional associated gas from the Bahrain oilfield. The project is expected to take 32 months to be ready for a trial run, with actual operations starting in September 2018. (


Shell will sell its 51 percent stake in Malaysian refinery

February 2, 2016. Shell has reached a conditional agreement with Malaysian Hengyuan International Ltd (MHIL) for the sale of its 51% shareholding in the Shell Refining Company (SRC) in Malaysia for US$66.3 mn. SRC operates a 156,000 bbl/d (7.8 million tonnes/year) refinery in Port Dickson, where a 31,000 bbl/d diesel processing unit was commissioned in 2013. MHIL is a unit of Chinese private refiner Shandong Hengyuan Petrochemical Company. The company will invest in the upgrades needed to meet the Euro 4M and Euro 5 requirements. The transaction is expected to complete in 2016, subject to obtaining regulatory approval. (       

Kuwait to set up company to run refinery complex

January 31, 2016. Kuwait's National Petroleum Company (KNPC) said it will set up a new company to run its planned al-Zour refinery and petrochemical complex which, when built, will be the biggest in the Middle East. The new company, KBRC, will also manage a planned permanent liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, KNPC Chief Executive Mohammed al-Mutairi said. He said that setting up KBRC would allow the independent management of the projects under one structure. Mutairi said that commissioning of the 615,000 barrel per day refinery was expected to start in November 2019. Contracts to build the 3 billion cubic feet per day LNG import terminal were expected to be awarded early this year. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Private Chinese company to pull out of Rosneft fuel oil supply deal

February 2, 2016. China's Fortone Group is calling off a deal to buy about $680 million of fuel oil from Russian oil major Rosneft, anticipating heavy losses from falling oil prices and weak Chinese demand. The move would mark another soured oil deal involving a private Chinese company after Baota Petrochemical Group failed to secure a letter of credit for two crude cargoes, representing a further blow to Beijing's moves to open its oil market. Fortone, which had planned to sell the fuel oil to independent refineries to use as feedstock for refined oil products, won a Rosneft export tender for up to 3.5 million tonnes of M100 fuel oil for lifting between January and December from Russia's far eastern port of Nakhodka, according to four traders involved in the tender. The tender was won with a bid price pitched at a premium of about $55 a tonne over prevailing benchmark quotes, almost double the premium of some other bids, the traders said, and was worth about $680 million by calculations. Traders at regular Rosneft tender participants -- Mercuria, Vitol and Daxin Petroleum -- said they were puzzled why Fortone, a diversified services group barely heard of in the market previously, had put in a surprisingly high bid. Rosneft said in November that it had issued tenders to sell up to 34.2 million tonnes of fuel for delivery in 2016. The 3.5 million tonnes secured by Fortone would account for nearly Rosneft's supply capacity out of Nakhodka and was worth about $680 million, traders said. China has been freeing up its oil market by allowing smaller independent refineries to import crude oil for the first time, reducing demand for fuel oil, while a hefty consumption tax on fuel oil has also cut its competitiveness against crude oil. Market participants expect Rosneft's new annual tender for fuel oil loading from Nakhodka from March-December to be issued shortly. (

Total, Pertamina sign long-term LNG supply agreements

February 2, 2016. France's Total signed long-term sale and purchase agreements to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Indonesia's state-owned Pertamina, with the LNG volumes increasing from 0.4 to 1 million tons per year over a period of 15 years beginning 2020. Under the agreements, Total will purchase from 2020 around 0.4 million tons per year of Pertamina’s contracted LNG volumes from Corpus Christi LNG, now under construction in the U.S. Total will, in turn, supply LNG from its global portfolio to Pertamina, with the LNG volume growing over time from 0.4 to 1 million tons annually. (

New Poland-Norway gas pipeline project planned by 2022

February 1, 2016. Polish national gas company PGNiG plans to build a gas pipeline to import gas from Norway by 2022, when the current gas contract with Russian gas giant Gazprom will expire. The company currently buys around 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year of gas from Gazprom, i.e. more than half of its gas consumption (17-18 bcm per year on average over the past few years). Poland, which recently commissioned its first LNG regasification terminal, aims at diversifying its gas import sources and wants to have the technical possibility to import a few billion cubic metres of gas from the north by 2022. Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil is interested in the Polish market, even if it has already announced that it would not invest in the construction of such a pipeline to Poland. The company's current pipeline capacity is optimised and matches production capacity on the Norwegian continental shelf. (

Leviathan partners sign $1.3 bn gas deal with Edeltech

January 31, 2016. Israel’s natural gas companies and Noble Energy Inc. have signed the first contract to supply fuel from the country’s largest gas reserves, the offshore Leviathan field. Partners in Leviathan will supply 6 billion cubic meters of gas over 18 years to two power stations owned by local electricity producer Edeltech Group. Under a government program for the country’s gas industry approved, Leviathan will be developed by Texas-based Noble with Delek Drilling LP and Avner Oil Exploration LP, units of Israel’s Delek Group Ltd. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is examining the possibility of a pipeline to transport gas to Europe via Greece. The Leviathan partners agreed in November to enter non-binding negotiations with Dolphinus Holdings Ltd in Egypt to supply as much as 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually for a period between 10 and 15 years. Dolphinus is a consortium of large, non-governmental gas consumers and distributors headed by Egyptian businessman Alaa Arafa. Noble expects a final investment decision on Leviathan to be made by the end of 2016, Bini Zomer, the Israel country manager of Noble Energy, said. The flow of gas to domestic and regional markets is set to begin within three to four years from the decision and as early as the end of 2019, he said. (

Israel, Greece and Cyprus to explore gas pipeline to Europe

January 28, 2016. Greece, Israel and Cyprus will explore the possibility of building a natural gas pipeline to Europe, tapping huge gas reserves discovered in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years. Israel has reported some of the largest gas finds in the past decade and EU member Cyprus confirmed a discovery in 2011, making both potential exporters. Groups of specialists will be appointed to assess the pipeline idea, and plans are proceeding to create a subsea electricity cable to Europe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters in Nicosia. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has said experts estimate there are 10,000 to 15,000 billion cubic meters of gas in the east Mediterranean basin, which includes Israel, Egypt and Cyprus -- enough to supply domestic needs as well as Europe. (

Japanese LNG buyers turning sellers as gas glut bites

January 28, 2016. Japanese liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are having to hone a new skill - selling. After decades of negotiating with suppliers for the lowest possible prices, the world's top importer is moving from customer to competitor, seeking to sell surplus stock. Japan is unlikely to shift vast volumes off its books, but it is delaying or diverting some shipments after overestimating gas needs, adding pressure to a market already facing a global glut. LNG imports by the world's top buyer declined 3.9 percent to 85.046 million tonnes last year, the first dip since the Fukushima nuclear disaster drove purchases to successive records, Ministry of Finance data showed. (

Repsol sells gas distribution assets in Spain for €136 mn

January 28, 2016. Spanish energy group Repsol has sold its piped gas business in the north of Spain and the Extremadura region to the Portuguese group EDP and to local energy company Gas Extremadura, for a total of €136 mn. The sales agreements with EDP Group and Gas Extremadura are subject to regulatory approvals. Following these two sales, Repsol maintains a portfolio of piped gas assets with the capacity to supply 42,000 customers in the Community of Madrid. This transaction follows the sale completed by Repsol in September 2015 of piped gas assets to Gas Natural Distribución and Redexis for €652 mn. Repsol’s divestment of this non-strategic business amounts to a total of €788 mn, yielding accumulated capital gains of €431m after tax. In addition to the partial divestment of the piped gas business announced in September, Repsol that month sold its 10% stake in logistics company CLH for €325 mn. The company also reached an agreement in December 2015 to sell 13% of its stake in Eagle Ford in the United States to its partner Statoil. Furthermore, Repsol divested rights in a project in Alaska, and three offshore exploration blocks in Canada. (   

Canada imposes further delays on two major pipeline projects

January 27, 2016. Canada announced new interim rules for environmental reviews that will impose delays on two projects - TransCanada Corp's Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan Inc's expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline. The Liberal government issued the rules on the grounds that public trust needed to be restored in the process for assessing big energy projects. Proponents say that after U.S. President Barack Obama's denial of the Keystone XL pipeline, all-Canadian projects are needed so the country's oil can reach its east and west coasts and fetch higher prices abroad. The rules are designed to take greater account of environmental impacts and indigenous groups' view for the two pipelines, which are opposed by environmentalists and some communities but backed by industry. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the government would separately calculate direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions linked to the projects. (

Enbridge to buy some Murphy Oil gas plants in British Columbia

January 27, 2016. Enbridge Inc, Canada's largest pipeline company, said it would buy Murphy Oil Corp's Tupper Main and Tupper West gas plants in northeastern British Columbia for C$538 mn ($382 mn). The deal includes the sale of plants capable of processing up to 320 million cubic feet per day, Enbridge said. The assets would boost its natural gas footprint in Montney, one of the most attractive gas plays in North America, the company said. The transaction, which is between Murphy Oil's Canadian unit Murphy Oil Co Ltd and Enbridge unit Enbridge G&P Ltd Partnership, is expected to close in the second quarter. Murphy Oil said that it would buy working interests in some of Athabasca Oil Corp's assets in Alberta for C$475 million. (

UAE sees oil glut easing even with added Iran supplies

January 27, 2016. The global oversupply of crude will decline this year even after Iran adds an expected 500,000 barrels a day in oil output, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said. Oil prices are fluctuating on speculation about the potential impact of more Iranian crude entering the market this year after the lifting of economic sanctions, Al Mazrouei said. Iran has pledged to boost output by 500,000 barrels a day immediately after the sanctions are removed and by up to 1 million a day within a year. The UAE and fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided in December to abandon their production ceiling, effectively allowing the group’s producers to pump as much as they can. OPEC boosted output to 32.9 million barrels a day and exceeded its previous 30 million-barrel-a-day target every month since May 2014 as it battles for market share with higher-cost suppliers outside the group. (

Policy / Performance…………

Greece to decide on three gas exploration licences soon: Energy Minister

February 2, 2016. Greece will decide soon on the awarding of three onshore natural gas exploration licences in the west of the country in its second licensing round, Energy Minister Panos Skourletis said. Greece, which clinched a third bailout with international creditors in August, has made several fruitless attempts over the last 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves. Its debt crisis has prompted the country to step up those efforts. Two companies, Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum and the country's sole oil producer Energean Oil & Gas, submitted bids for the blocks last year but are still waiting for a government decision. Hellenic Petroleum - in a venture with Italy's Edison and Ireland's Petroceltic - and Energean Oil were the winners of drilling licences for three onshore and offshore blocks in western Greece awarded in 2014. Petroceltic pulled out from the investment last year, selling its rights to its Greek and Italian partners after tumbling oil prices hurt its business. Greece has also tendered 20 offshore blocks in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete for deep sea oil and gas drilling and received three bids last summer. (

A new global oil deal could draw lessons from 1998

February 2, 2016. After a year of secret diplomacy and hushed-up private talks around the world, OPEC's mighty Saudi Arabia and rival Venezuela were persuaded to cut a deal by non-OPEC Mexico which overcame mutual acrimony and led to a much-needed rise in oil prices. It was 1998, trust had long broken down within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and it took outside mediation as a last resort to stop the squabbling to clinch deals at secret meetings in Riyadh, Madrid and Miami. Now, with oil prices touching their lowest level since 2003, OPEC officials and deal brokers are looking back nearly two decades and asking whether a behind-the-scenes deal to curb oil output between OPEC and non-OPEC Russia could be struck. Some see OPEC rifts as insurmountable and Russia as a wild card that cannot be trusted, but others say economic necessity to boost oil revenue could overcome acrimony and distrust and lead to a global deal to cut supply and mop up the glut. (

Mozambique will approve LNG projects by late 2016

February 1, 2016. Mozambique state-owned National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH) plans to give the final go-ahead for the LNG projects developed by Eni and Anadarko by the end of 2016. Both are expected to make a final investment decision this year. The US$15 bn Mozambique LNG project, developed by Anadarko (26.5%), Mitsui (20%), ONGC-OIL (16%), ENH (15%), Bharat Petroleum (10%), PTTEP (8.5%) and Oil India (4%), will exploit gas reserves from the Offshore Area 1 in the Rovuma basin (estimated at more than 75 trillion cubic feet or more than 2,100 billion cubic meters). The project would have a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year. First gas production is expected in 2020. (

Hedge funds trim short positions in oil futures

February 1, 2016. Hedge funds continued to trim their bets on a further fall in oil prices as speculation swirled about a coordinated cut in production between Russia and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The probability of a coordinated cut remains low, according to many analysts, but the speculation has injected more uncertainty and created more of a two-way market in futures prices, replacing the former one-way bet. Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their short positions in the three main WTI and Brent contracts listed on NYMEX and ICE Futures Europe by a combined 29 million barrels. Combined short futures and options positions were cut 7 percent from 376 million barrels to 347 million barrels, according to records published by regulators and exchanges. (

EU signals support for Schaeuble's petrol tax proposal: magazine

January 30, 2016. European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis has suggested he was open to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's proposal for a special tax on petrol in EU member states to finance refugee-related costs. Schaeuble attracted criticism from fellow conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) for suggesting earlier this month that the money from the extra levy could be used to pay for strengthening Europe's joint external borders. He did not specify how high the additional tax on gasoline should be and whether Brussels or the EU member states would be in charge of collecting it. He said that measures under consideration to better secure Europe's external borders were expensive. (

Iran cancels London summit for new oil deals

January 30, 2016. Iran canceled a London conference to promote new contracts for global oil companies, two weeks after economic sanctions were lifted, because the British government hasn’t been able to issue visas for Iranians to travel, an official told the weekly Iranian magazine Seda. The ministry spent the past two years working on a new model contract, in which fees paid to international companies will be linked to the oil price and determined on a sliding scale, with riskier developments paying more. The London event in late February was meant to woo foreign companies that were unable to attend a November 2015 conference in Tehran at which officials unveiled projects under the new terms. With the lifting of sanctions tied to its nuclear program, Iran is hoping to draw as much as $50 billion of foreign investment a year and is expecting to see the return of major oil companies such as Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Total SA. The London conference was proposed in February 2014 when Iran announced it would be designing new contracts for foreign investors. It had already been postponed four times. (

Pakistan Finance Ministry reluctant to spend $300 mn on Gwadar pipeline

January 29, 2016. Pakistan's Finance Ministry has indicated its reluctance to provide 300 million dollars to the petroleum ministry for executing the two billion dollars Gwadar liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline project. The ministry is reportedly delaying the release of the funds because it appears to have spent the entire cess collection from gas consumers to bridge the budget deficit. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had reportedly approached the finance ministry earlier to seek the release of the gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) collection for spending on planned gas import projects. The Sharif government is reportedly seeking to negotiate the Gwadar pipeline cost at ` 183.86 billion. The China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau is expected to provide 85 percent of financing, while the balance 15 percent is to be borne by Pakistan. (

UK announces $720 mn funding package to boost oil and gas industry

January 29, 2016. UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the Scottish and UK governments will invest a total of £504 mn ($720 mn) in Aberdeen and Scotland which are vital to the country’s North Sea oil and gas industry. The two governments will equally fund the program, which is in addition to a £20 mn ($28 mn) boost for oil and gas industry innovation and diversification. The funding will be used for the expansion of Aberdeen harbor, enabling companies to bid for projects in the oil and gas decommissioning sector, which is estimated to cost £45 bn by 2040. The UK Government launched a new Ministerial Group on Oil and Gas which will coordinate the UK's response to the oil price while focusing on vital issues including exports, skills and investment. (

Tanzania finalises land deal for delayed LNG project

January 29, 2016. Tanzania said it had finalised a land acquisition for the site of a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and was working to compensate and resettle villagers to move forward on a long-delayed project. Tanzania's natural gas reserves are estimated at more than 55 trillion cubic feet and the central bank believes 2 percentage points would be added to annual economic growth of 7 percent simply by starting work on the huge plant that would draw in billions of dollars of investment. BG Group, being acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, along with Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy plan to build the onshore LNG export terminal in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). They aim to start it up in the early 2020s. But their final investment decision has in part been held up by delays in finalising issues related to the site. East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of crude oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique. (

Iran says low oil prices will not last long

January 28, 2016. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that oil prices would not stay low for long as producers restore market balance. Iran is pushing to boost oil exports now that international sanctions against it have been lifted. Oil futures surged after non-OPEC member Russia indicated there was a possibility of cooperation with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to curb output and thus raise the crude price, currently near $33 a barrel. Nikolai Tokarev, head of Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, said Russian officials had decided they should talk to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries about output cuts aimed at bolstering crude prices. But Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tehran had not been contacted by Moscow over oil output cuts. (

Mexico Finance Minister says ready to support Pemex

January 27, 2016. Mexico's Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said the government is considering injecting more capital into state-owned oil company Pemex, though any decision is not "imminent" and will depend on oil prices and the company's situation. Crude oil prices have fallen more than 70 percent since 2014, battering Pemex's balance sheet. The government is also working with the firm to analyze specific cases where taxes may inhibit Pemex from making investments, Videgaray said. Videgaray said the government will make any decisions about further support once it sees how oil prices develop, and how Pemex responds. (

IMF, World Bank discussing possible aid to oil exporter Azerbaijan

January 27, 2016. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are discussing possible financing aid for oil exporter Azerbaijan to help it cope with mounting currency and budget pressures from a steep drop in crude prices. Oil and gas account for 95 percent of Azeri exports and 75 percent of government revenues. Crude oil's 50 percent price fall over the past six months to about $30 a barrel has dealt a crushing blow to the Caspian Sea republic's economy. (



Egypt, Russia may start building nuclear power plant in 2018

February 2, 2016. Egypt may start construction of its first nuclear power plant with Russia's assistance in 2018. The plant would be built at Dabaa in the north of Egypt and was expected to be completed by 2022. (

Japan restarts its third nuclear reactor, Takahama-3

February 1, 2016. Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) has restarted the third unit of its Takahama nuclear power plant in the Fukui prefecture (Japan). With this restart, Japan has now three operational nuclear reactors, including 890 MW Sendai-1 and Sendai-2 (restarted in August and October 2015). The 830 MW reactors 3 and 4 had been allowed by the city of Takahama to resume operations in December 2015. They were commissioned in 1985 and stopped in 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and KEPCO applied with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in July 2013. (

Monthly coal use for US power fell to 35 year low in November

February 1, 2016. U.S power generation from coal fell to the lowest monthly level in 35 years in November 2015 as generators switched to cleaner and cheaper natural gas, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas overtook coal as the leading source of U.S. power for a fifth month in a row in November, according to the data. The first month in history that gas overtook coal was April 2015. With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history. EIA said generators produced 101,866 thousand megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity with gas in November versus just 87,789 thousand MWh with coal, the lowest monthly level since May 1980 when monthly coal use was 84,884 thousand MWh. (

China on course to meet 2020 nuclear capacity targets

January 27, 2016. China is on course to meet its 2020 target to raise its total installed nuclear capacity to 58 GW after a resumption in new project approvals last year, the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) said. The CAEA said that China had 30 reactors in operation, with a total capacity of 28.3 GW. Another 24 units are now under construction, with a total capacity of 26.7 GW, following the approval of eight new reactors last year, the CAEA said. China suspended new reactor approvals and launched a nationwide inspection of all its nuclear projects in 2011 after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked meltdowns at an ageing nuclear plant in Japan's Fukushima. While some countries have vowed to phase out their nuclear reactor fleet as a result of safety concerns and growing public opposition, China is now embarking on the world's biggest nuclear construction programme as part of its efforts to ease its dependence on coal. China aims to become a leading global reactor builder, and has signed preliminary agreements with countries such as Argentina and Romania to export technology, including its flagship "Hualong I" reactor design. Chinese state nuclear firms are also set to help finance a controversial reactor at Britain's Hinkley Point after signing a deal with France's EDF last year. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Indonesia's Salim buys huge Australian coal project from Rio Tinto

January 27, 2016. Global miner Rio Tinto Plc has agreed to sell one of its remaining coal mines in Australia to a group owned by Indonesia's third-richest man, Anthoni Salim, continuing an exit from coal as it battles a sharp slump in prices. The deal comes at a time when thermal coal prices are mired at more than nine-year lows with an uncertain outlook for a recovery amid global efforts to cut carbon emissions. Rio Tinto shelved plans to develop the mine when prices were much higher. The Mount Pleasant sale follows Rio's sale of its stake in the neighbouring Bengalla venture last year for $606 million and leaves it with the Hunter Valley Operations and Mount Thorley Warkworth mines in New South Wales and the Hail Creek and Kestrel coking coal mines in Queensland. (

Policy / Performance…………

Vietnam will stop licensing new coal-fired power projects

February 1, 2016. The government of Vietnam has announced that it would revise its national power development plan, or "power master zoning plan VII", to give priority to gas-fired power plants over those burning coal. The government will reconsider development plans for all coal-fired power plants, in an attempt to solve environmental issues and to meet its commitments to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under the power master zoning plan VII, coal-fired power accounted for 35% of the total power capacity in 2015, followed by hydropower with nearly 34%. The share of coal should rise to 45% (nearly 30,000 MW) in 2020 and 56% in 2030. (

China to draft nuclear safety law soon

January 27, 2016. China will speed up drafting of the nuclear safety law and atomic energy law, a white paper on its nuclear emergency preparedness said. Since China started to build its first nuclear power plant in 1985, the country has made fast progress in legislation of nuclear emergency response, said the document issued by the State Council Information Office. China adopted a regulation on emergency management of nuclear accidents in 1993, the first in this area, and then the law on prevention and control of radioactive pollution. The law on emergency response covered nuclear accidents. The state security law, revised in July 2015, reinforced regulation on nuclear emergencies. Over the years, the country also set up a nuclear emergency management system with clear division of duty among the central government, provincial governments and nuclear power plants. At the national level, the National Nuclear Accident Emergency Coordination Committee is made up of civilian departments and military and has a general office in charge of regular works. Accordingly, governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities where nuclear power plants are located, set up nuclear emergency coordination departments and took charge of emergency response within their jurisdiction. The central government has drawn up a national contingency plan while provincial governments and all nuclear power plants issued their own plans. (



India leads in venture funding for wind power

February 2, 2016. ReNew Power Ventures, a Gurgaon-headquartered renewable energy company, raised the largest amount of venture capital funding in the wind power sector last year, according to a global report on wind energy funding and M&A activity for 2015. ReNew Power Ventures raised $265 million in venture funds last year, accounting for more than half of total venture capital investments in the sector globally last year, according to the report released by Mercom Capital Group. Global venture capital investments in wind power in 2015 rose to $520 million in 14 deals from $311 million in 15 deals in the previous year. Last year saw record global activity in wind energy with $15.4 billion in corporate funding brought into the sector against $11.8 billion in 2014, the report said. Merger and acquisitions deals in India included Sudhir Valia's acquisition of wind power assets of Jaiprakash Associates for $27 million. Gujarat NRE Coke, an independent producer of met coke in India, sold 62 windmills situated in Gujarat for a consideration of $33.46 million. The combined installed capacity of the windmills is 87.5 MW. (

NLC to set up 50 MW solar power plant in Andaman

February 1, 2016. Neyveli Lignite Corp (NLC) has proposed setting up a 50 MW solar power plant at an estimated cost of about ` 370.60 crore in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Besides setting up a plant in the Union Territory, the NLC has also proposed to install solar power plants in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with a total capacity of 4,000 MW, NLC said. NLC had set up its first 10 MW solar plant here at a cost of about ` 74.60 crore in September last year. (

Remove hurdles to harnessing of renewable energy: J&K Governor

February 1, 2016. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor N N Vohra has directed the administration to remove the existing impediments to ensure maximum harnessing of hydro energy, wind energy and solar power in the state. The Governor reviewed all issues related to the harnessing of new and renewable energy resources in the state in a meeting. Vohra also set up an empowered High-Level Committee (HLC) to examine and resolve all pending issues and remove all impediments to ensure maximum harnessing of the small hydro potential in the state. The committee will send monthly progress reports to the Governor. (

Kerala State to promote climate-smart farming

January 31, 2016. Kerala State is opening up a new battlefront in the war against climate change. The State has secured funding from the Union government for a project to revive 600 hectares of coastal wetlands for climate-resilient farming. The ` 25 crore project seeks to restore and manage 300 hectares of Pokkali wetlands in Thrissur, Ernakulam, and Alappuzha districts and 300 hectares of Kaipad wetlands in Kannur for carbon sequestration and production of paddy and fish. The integrated farming practice will be promoted to build resilience to climate change and provide more income for farmers and local communities. The rotation of rice farming and fish aquaculture is also expected to improve land use efficiency and minimise land degradation. The project has been cleared for financial assistance from the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change and will be implemented by the Agency for Development of Aquaculture, Kerala, (ADAK) over a period of four years. (

Rooftop solar panels in every household soon: Jharkhand

January 30, 2016. The government is set to promote the use of clean energy by widening the ambit of the state solar power policy-2015 to include individual households. SKG Rahate, principal secretary of the energy department, said individual households will be encouraged to install rooftop power plants as per the solar power policy. A mechanism will be developed to facilitate the evacuation of additional power generated on these small plants into grid power channels, he explained. The energy department plans to install 2,650 MW solar power plant by 2020. Tenders have been invited for the installation of 1200 MW solar plants, which comprise photovoltaic-based power plants and rooftop plants for institutions as well in the first phase. The government plans to sign a power purchase agreement with the successful bidders by the end of the financial year after the financial bids are opened on March 15. At present, work for installing rooftop solar plants in 100 government buildings is underway and is likely to be completed by June. Once completed, it will add five megawatt to the net capacity. (

American companies keen to participate in National Solar Mission

January 29, 2016. Several American companies are looking at opportunities in the renewable energy sector and are keen to participate in the National Solar Mission, US Export Import Bank (EXIM) Bank said. Besides, the Bank is providing support to companies like GE and Westinghouse to help set up nuclear projects in India. The Bank has been part of the conversation, and nuclear power whether in India or anywhere in the world tends to require export credit agency because projects are very large. In 2014, the US dragged India to WTO on country's solar mission plan. National Solar Mission aims to establish India as a global leader in solar energy by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. The US primarily exports thin film technology for the solar panel. (

Haryana gets sanction for 500 MW solar project

January 29, 2016. The new and renewable energy ministry has approved a 500 MW solar power project to be set up in Haryana. The ministry has sought detailed project report from the Haryana Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) for the project under the scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects. HAREDA said state utilities will identify, acquire land and provide infrastructure like transmission system, water, road connectivity and communication network. The solar park scheme is envisaged to bring in significant investment for the solar power sector, meet solar purchase obligation (SPO) mandates and provide employment to the local population. The first solar park project of 590 MW capacity was set up in the Patan district of Gujarat in 2012. The biggest such project of 750 MW is being set up by Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd near Radhanesda village in the state. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a central public sector enterprises, has been implementing various schemes to develop the solar sector in the country. As per the policy, these solar parks will be developed in collaboration with the state governments. Haryana is targeting to achieve 4,200 MW of solar energy by 2022. To tap solar power, the state will shortly set up a special purpose vehicle, in which Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation will hold 51% stake, while the rest will be held by Haryana Power Generation Corporation Ltd. The SPV will identify land and provide the infrastructure for setting up solar plants. (

World Bank, POSOCO among first few this year to buy RECs

January 28, 2016. The World Bank, Power System Operation Corp (POSOCO) and REcoonect Energy Trading Company are among the entities that have purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs) on voluntary basis this year. RECs are the green attributes that allow companies, organisations and individuals to offset their carbon footprints without investing capital into generation capacities or buying green power. Voluntary REC market is usually driven by buyers such as organisations & individuals with no specific obligation to purchase RECs and hence no penalty for non-compliance. Organisations across the globe have been either buying green power or purchasing RECs voluntarily to offset carbon footprints. (

Solar projects bids in UP go to Adani Power and Azure Power

January 27, 2016. The latest auction for solar energy projects has been won by Adani Power and Azure Power with bids of ` 4.78 per unit, which is higher than the record low of ` 4.34 set. Prayatna Developers, which is a subsidiary of Adani Power, and Azure Power India have been allotted equal shares of 50 MW at the same price. In the last three auctions, winners had quoted lower tariffs. While two of them were for projects that were offered by NTPC in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, the other was for a project that was offered by Solar Energy Corporation of India in Maharashtra. The Rajasthan bid set a record for being the lowest bid at ` 4.34 per kWh, while the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh ones were ` 4.41 and ` 4.63, respectively. Another difference between these projects is that in Uttar Pradesh (UP), developers will have to acquire land for projects, while in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, they will be allotted lands in solar parks. On the bigger front, India is aggressively expanding its solar power portfolio, which is visible from the plans to add 1 lakh MW of projects to promote green energy. It is also in the forefront of a global push towards green energy. (

Essel Infraprojects commissions 50 MW solar power project in UP

January 27, 2016. Essel Infraprojects Limited (EIL), a part of Essel Group, commissioned the 50 MW Solar Power Project in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The plant at Jalaun in Uttar Pradesh was inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav under the Uttar Pradesh Solar Power Policy 2013 to enhance the renewable energy efforts in the state. The Solar Power Project is built with the state-of-the-art technology located in 250 acres of land at Kuhana and Shajahanpur villages in Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh signed under UP Solar Power Policy in December 2013 for 25 years. The solar plant is expected to generate 85 million units per year and connected to 132 KV Sarsela-Kalpi substations. EIL under its green vertical has commissioned solar projects at Osmanabad (Maharashtra) and Bijapur (Karnataka), Essel has emerged as major player in solar power generation with upcoming solar project in Tamil Nadu. Further, company has also been awarded solar PV project at Mansa (Punjab). (

PTC India arm awards 30 MW wind energy project to Gamesa India

January 27, 2016. PTC India arm, PTC Energy, has awarded an order to Gamesa India for a 30 MW wind energy project in Madhya Pradesh. The project will be commissioned by March 2016. Gamesa will develop the entire infrastructure needed to operate the project with the supply, erection and commissioning of 15 units of 2 MW turbines, specially designed for low wind sites in India. As a part of the contract, Gamesa has also entered into a long term operations and maintenance agreement for the project. (


Brexit may lose UK billions in funding for climate, renewables

February 2, 2016. The U.K. risks losing out on billions of pounds of investment in renewable energy projects such as wind farms and grid upgrades if it quits the European Union (EU) and ditches its stake in the European Investment Bank (EIB). Britain is the biggest recipient of the EIB’s Climate Awareness Bond Project, taking 24 percent of the € 7.2 billion ($7.9 billion) invested by the Luxembourg-based development bank in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around the world since 2007, according to the EIB. Countries outside the EU have received just 12 percent of the total Climate Awareness Bond proceeds since 2007. The EIB is the world’s largest issuer of green bonds, and has pledged to lend € 100 billion for climate action over the next five years to a wide range of projects including sustainable transport, energy efficiency and helping countries adapt to the impacts of warming temperatures. Dong Energy A/S the world’s biggest offshore wind developer, said that the Brexit threat would not derail its plan to invest 6 billion pounds in wind farms off the coast of the U.K. by the end of the decade. (

Greece added only 8 MW of solar capacity in 2015

February 2, 2016. According to the Greek electricity transmission network operator LAGIE, mainstream Greece had a total renewable capacity of 4,495 MW at year-end 2015, including 2,444 MW of solar capacity, 1,775 MW of wind capacity and 276 MW of biomass. These capacities don't take into account installed capacity of non-interconnected islands, estimated at 136 MW at the end of 2014. Only 8 MW of new PV capacity were installed during the year, down from 16 MW in 2014 and nearly 1.1 GW in 2012. (               

Norway says Arctic gas expansion depends on EU's climate plan

February 1, 2016. Norway, Europe’s biggest gas supplier after Russia, said developing its northernmost reserves in the Arctic hinges on a commitment by the European Union (EU) to make the fuel part of its strategy to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Norway has repeatedly sought signals from the EU that gas, which emits less carbon dioxide than coal and oil, will play an important part as the 28-nation bloc lays out its strategy to lower greenhouse emissions. (

California upholds solar net metering scheme

February 1, 2016. The Public Utilities Commission of California (United States) has upheld net metering for solar rooftop installations, allowing home-owners equipped with solar panels to continue selling their excess power generation to the local power utility at the full retail rate. However, the PUC introduced a new fee to connect solar installations to the grid (from US$75 to US$150) and solar users will be required to pay monthly fees for some utilities programmes and to move to time-based utility rates, paying more for power during peak hours. The net metering scheme will be revised again in 2019. Net metering has been criticised by some ratepayer advocates for rewarding solar users while leaving other consumers connected to the distribution grid the burden to pay for maintaining the network. In addition, the 40% drop in the cost of residential solar installations in the last five years has triggered some utilities to call for the removal of these schemes. (   

Dubai opens consultancy tender for $27 bn green fund

January 30, 2016. Dubai's Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) said it was calling on consulting firms to tender for advisory and regulatory development services for the emirate's planned 100 billion dirham ($27 billion) clean energy fund. The "Dubai Green Fund", announced in November, will provide low-cost loans for investors in Dubai's clean energy sector as part of wider green energy investment programme in the desert city state of 2.4 million people. Located in the Gulf, one of the hottest regions of the world, Dubai uses large amounts of energy to cool buildings and public spaces and to provide water through energy-intensive desalination plants. Dubai wants to obtain 7 percent of its energy from lower-emissions sources by 2020, raising that to 25 percent in 2030 and 75 percent in 2050. Energy sources will include natural gas, solar, clean coal and nuclear. (

Paris climate deal seen costing $12.1 tn over 25 yrs

January 29, 2016. If the world is serious about halting the worst effects of global warming, the renewable energy industry will require $12.1 trillion of investment over the next quarter century, or about 75 percent more than current projections show for its growth. That’s the conclusion of a report setting out the scale of the challenge facing policymakers as they look for ways to implement the Paris Agreement that in December set a framework for more than 195 nations to rein in greenhouse gases. A Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists, show that wind parks, solar farms and other alternatives to fossil fuels are already on course to get $6.9 trillion over the next 25 years through private investment spurred on by government support mechanisms. Another $5.2 trillion is needed to reach the United Nations goal of holding warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) set out in the climate agreement. The required expenditure averages about $484 billion a year over the period, compared with business-as-usual levels of $276 billion, according to calculations. Renewables attracted a record $329 billion of investment in 2015. While the figures are large, they’re not as eye-watering as the International Energy Agency’s projection that it’ll cost $13.5 trillion between now and 2030 for countries to implement their Paris pledges, and that an extra $3 billion on top of that will help meet the temperature target. Those figures aren’t just limited to renewables: they also include energy efficiency measures. (

New 210 MW solar power project approved in Argentina

January 28, 2016. Dutch renewable project developer Gigawatt Global and Uruguayan energy company Ledesma Petro Energia have signed an agreement with the Department of Energy of the province of Mendoza in Argentina and the city of General Alvear for the development of a 210 MW solar power project. The $740 mn project will be developed in two phases, including a PV park of 100 MW worth $220 mn and a 110 MW solar thermal park worth $520 mn. Construction is expected to start in February 2016. (

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