Pradhan mulls replicating Singapore’s petrochemical complex in India

Singapore, Sep 10 (IANS) Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday mulled over the possibility of replicating Singapore’s petrochemical complex at two places in India – in Odisha’s Paradip port and Haryana’s Panipat district.

The minister, who is on a 6-day visit to Singapore after which he will go to Britain, tweeted: “Jurong model is interesting; similar petrochemical complex can be developed in Panipath and Paradip with good planning.”

Jurong, a reclaimed island in Singapore, hosts ports, three refineries and several petrochemical plants manufacturing the entire value chain of products. Pradhan visited the centralised utilites operations — offering a comprehensive range of energy, water and on-site logistics solutions – of Sembcorp Industries at Jurong island.

“Visited Jurong Island at Sembcorp, that provides all common utilities to the industries in the 35 sq km island,” Pradhan tweeted.

Earlier in the day, the Petroleum Minister also visited the Keppel Shipyard, here to review the technologies that can be useful for India.

Many rigs working in Indian oil sector are developed here, he said, adding that the innovative technological work and rig manufacturing at the Keppels can be useful in India

Pradhan is on a visit to Singapore to lead India’s road shows to attract foreign investors for its small oil and gas fields.

Road shows were earlier held in July in the US and Canada, for the auction of India’s 67 hydrocarbon discovered small fields (DSF).

Bidding opened on July 15 and will be open till October 31.

The auction will be under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP) round approved in March, based on a revenue-sharing model, as opposed to cost-and-output-based norms earlier.

The new model will replace the controversial production sharing contracts — by which oil and gas blocks are awarded to firms which show they will do maximum work on a block — that has governed the bidding under the earlier nine New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) rounds.

Under the Discovered Small Field Policy, the government is offering for bids 67 discovered small fields in 46 contract areas spread over nine sedimentary basins on land and in shallow and deep water areas.

The offered fields hold 625 million barrels of oil and gas reserves.

Of the 46 small fields, 26 are on land, 18 offshore in shallow water and two in deep water.

Eventual operators will be issued a single licence for exploration of conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbons and will have the freedom to sell oil and gas at “arms length” market prices. There would be no cess on crude oil.

The production sharing contracts regime, which allows operators to recover all investments made from sale of oil and gas before profits are shared with the government, was criticised by India’s official auditor, who said it encouraged companies to keep inflating costs — “gold plating” — so as to postpone giving a higher share of profits.

The change in model is designed to help keep the government share in cases of windfall from both a steep rise in prices as well as a quantum jump in production.

–IANS

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