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04 April, 2020, 10:30 AM IST

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Oil firms delivering over 60 lakh LPG cylinders daily during lockdown: Pradhan

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

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  • 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.

    "We have successfully rolled out the supply of BS-VI grade fuel across the country," IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said. "All our 28,000 petrol pumps across the country are dispensing BS-VI grade fuel for more than a week now."

    The Petroleum Ministry has received several complaints of alleged corruption and irregularities against the CEO and other officials of Petronet LNG Ltd, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.

    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.

    The government on Tuesday extended the deadline for bidding to buy its entire 52.98 per cent stake in the country's second-biggest oil refiner, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), by over a month to June 13.

    The collective assurance of uninterrupted supplies of all oil products, especially LPG cylinders, by Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL, come amidst panic booking of cooking gas by consumers since the national lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

    "Upliftment of finished products from them in the last one week has helped up country bulk storage locations of the Corporation build up their stocks for future-readiness once the countrywide lockdown is lifted and the demand picks up again. The Corporation is keeping a close watch on global cues and the changing market scenario and initiating actions accordingly," Indian Oil said.

    The company has implemented work from home at non-critical locations and implemented staggered work hours and working on alternate days at others with all precautions. Its consumer facing points such as petrol pumps and LPG delivery services have initiated safeguard protocol with face masks and sanitisers.

    Sales are dropping at petrol pumps and compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations across several states in a sign that March would turn out to be the worst month in several years for fuel consumption despite fall in pump prices.

    "We certainly are interested in bidding but the valuations are too high," mining baron Anil Agarwal said. "The bid document is not yet out and we will carefully evaluate bidding once the offer document is out." He said share price has moved up 40-50 per cent since the time the government announced its plan to sell stake in November last year.

    If the price remains around $30 for most parts of 2020, import bill could reach its all time low in many many years.

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