Since the outbreak of coronavirus, countries across the globe have placed restrictions and announced lockdowns, which have shut businesses and stopped both air as well as road travel. India too announced a 21-day lockdown from March 25 which has led to slump in fuel demand.
The country's second largest national oil marketer Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd has developed a novel technology to test the quality of crude oil at a fraction of the cost and time that it takes now through the lengthy lab tests.
India's top oil and gas producer ONGC has sent an SOS to the government seeking a cut in taxes as well as being granted pricing and marketing freedom for gas to help it weather the slump in prices that has made sustaining operations difficult.
Around Rs 4,500 crore will be transferred this month. “Ujjwala Yojna has emerged as a key player in India’s fight against Covid-19,” petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, while announcing the decision during a video-conference with 730 district being delivered every day.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan interacted with dozens of district nodal officers of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) over video-conferencing to access the distribution of LPG cylinders in districts following the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent 21-day nationwide lockdown
Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the retailer of CNG and piped natural gas in the national capital and adjoining areas, said CNG price in Delhi will be cut by Rs 3.20 to Rs 42 per kg. In adjoining Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, the reduction would be Rs 3.60 to Rs 47.75 per kg.
CNG rates have been cut by Rs 3.60 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, IGL said.The new consumer price of Rs. 42.0 per kg in Delhi and Rs 47.75 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida & Ghaziabad would be effective from 6.00 am on 3rd April 2020.
Prices of natural gas, which is used to produce fertilizer, generate electricity and gets converted into CNG for use in automobiles and piped natural gas for household cooking, was from April 1 cut to USD 2.39 per million British thermal unit - a rate about 37 per cent lower than the cost of production. ONGC is India's largest integrated oil and gas company.
“There is an urgent need to revisit the gas price formula and the price ceiling for gas from difficult fields. If we want to really raise domestic production and move towards a gas-based economy, we must permit a free market and do away with the gas price formula,” ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker told ET.
Earlier dates for submitting bids was May 2 and inquires was April 4. The department added that any further changes to dates will be communicated to interested bidders. The government has set $10 billion minimum net worth as one of the eligibility criteria for bidders, while explicitly excluding public sector units having 51% government ownership from the bidding process.
IOC has reduced processing at its refineries by at least one-fourth as shutting down of businesses, suspension of flights and most vehicles staying off road due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown has led to drastic fall in demand. Sources said IOC has asked the four suppliers to defer some of the volumes they were to deliver in April.
India on Wednesday joined a select league of nations having the world's cleanest petrol and diesel as oil companies rolled out Euro-VI emission compliant fuels without either disruption or a price increase.
As per IOC's revised rate list that was made public today, the 14.2 cylinder will cost Rs 744 in Delhi from today (April 1, 2020), down Rs 61.5 from the last list (Rs 805.5 per cylinder). For Kolkata the new rate is Rs 774.5 (earlier price 839.5), for Mumbai Rs 714.5 (earlier price Rs 776.5), and for Chennai 761.5 (earlier price Rs 826).
Oil Ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) said the bulk of India's existing gas production will be priced at USD 2.39 per million British thermal unit for the six-month period beginning April 1, down from USD 3.23 as of now. This will be the second reduction in six months to the lowest since 2014.
ONGC was the top contributor with Rs 300 crore, followed by IOC chipping in Rs 225 crore. Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) provided Rs 175 crore, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) chipped in Rs 120 crore.
Brent crude futures dropped to around USD 23 per barrel the lowest since November 2002, while US crude briefly dipped below USD 20 as coronavirus lockdowns dried up demand while the crude surplus ballooned.
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