Government is working to reduce dependency on import from oil, gas: Dharmendra Pradhan
In February, 2019, the government approved major reforms in exploration and licensing policy to enhance exploration activities, attract domestic and foreign investment in unexplored/unallocated areas of sedimentary basins and accelerate domestic production of oil and gas from existing fields, Pradhan said.
Petroleum Ministry is working in collaboration with various Central government ministries to achieve the goal to reduce the dependency on import from oil and gas, said a government report, adding that it has also evolved a five-pronged strategy in this context. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan gave this information to the Rajya Sabha today, in a written reply. Other highlights of his statement are:
1. According to the minister, the five-pronged strategy broadly comprises increasing domestic production of oil and gas, promoting energy efficiency and conservation measures, giving thrust on demand substitution, capitalizing untapped potential in biofuels and other alternate fuels/ renewables and implementing measures for refinery process improvements.
2. Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the government has taken several steps to enhance exploration and production of oil and gas in the country. The steps include Policy for Relaxations, Extensions and Clarifications under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) regime for early monetization of hydrocarbon discoveries, Discovered Small Field Policy, Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy, Policy for Extension of Production Sharing Contracts, Policy for early monetization of Coal Bed Methane.
3. He further added: "Setting up of National Data Repository, Appraisal of Unappraised areas in Sedimentary Basins, Re-assessment of Hydrocarbon Resources, Policy framework to streamline the working of Production Sharing Contracts in Pre-NELP and NELP Blocks, Policy to Promote and Incentivize Enhanced Recovery Methods for Oil and Gas, Policy framework for exploration and exploitation of Unconventional Hydrocarbons under existing Production Sharing Contracts, Coal Bed Methane contracts and Nomination fields."
4. In February, 2019, the government approved major reforms in exploration and licensing policy to enhance exploration activities, attract domestic and foreign investment in unexplored/unallocated areas of sedimentary basins and accelerate domestic production of oil and gas from existing fields, Pradhan said.
5. According to the statement, the policy reforms inter-alia aims to boost exploration activities with greater weightage to work programme, simplified fiscal and contractual terms, bidding of exploration blocks under Category II and III sedimentary basins without any production or revenue sharing to Government, early monetization of discoveries by extending fiscal incentives, incentivizing gas production including marketing and pricing freedom, induction of latest technology and capital, more functional freedom to National Oil Companies for collaboration and private sector participation for production enhancement methods in nomination fields, streamlining approval processes and promoting ease of doing business including electronic single window mechanism.
6. He said the government is also promoting the usage of environment friendly transportation fuel, i.e. CNG by expanding the coverage of City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in the country, adding that government has also taken a number of initiatives to encourage the use of alternative fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel through Ethanol Blending in Petrol (EBP) Programme and Bio-diesel blending in diesel.
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7. To promote use of compressed bio gas, government has launched Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) on October 1, 2018. Government has also formulated a National Bio Fuel Policy 2018 to boost availability of biofuels in country. Currently, such poor households which don’t have LPG connections are provided with the connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), subject to fulfilling terms and conditions of the Scheme, he said, adding that so far, more than 7.29 crore connections are released against the target of 8 crore.
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