Oil and Gas Sector Current Affairs
Five central oil PSUs – IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, and NRL have signed agreement for executing 1500 Km North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid. It is a major initiative to connect all North-East States to National Gas Grid. It will be implemented under Centre’s ambitious Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project.
Terms of Agreement
Joint Venture (JV) company will be formed to develop, build, operate and maintain Natural Gas Pipeline Grid connecting Guwahati to other major North -Eastern cities and major load centres such as Numaligarh Refinery and integrating it with feasible gas producing fields in the region. The JV company will have equal equity contribution from all partners for development of natural gas pipeline project. The project will connect state capitals of all eight North Eastern states- Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The expenditure for 1500 Km length gas pipeline project is Rs. 6000 crore and is scheduled to compete in four years (by 2022) in three phases.
Urja Ganga Gas Pipeline Project
The project was launched in October 2016 with an aim to provide piped cooking (PNG) gas to residents of eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles. The project envisaged laying 2,050-km pipeline connecting Jagdishpur (UP) to Haldia (West Bengal) by 2018. It covers five states including UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha. The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL.
India, world’s third-largest energy consumer after US and China hosted 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial Meeting from 10-12th April 2018 in New Delhi. It was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is second time India hosting IEF Ministerial meeting. It had earlier hosted 5th IEF Ministerial in 1996 at Goa.
IEF Ministerial Meeting
The theme of 2018 IEF Ministerial Meeting was “The Future of Global Energy Security: Transition, Technology, Trade and Investment”. It was attended by Petroleum Ministers from 42 countries and was co-hosted by China and South Korea. It was informal dialogue held at both political and technical levels. It was aimed to improve policy and investment decisions, and through increased knowledge and experience sharing.
The deliberations among other important issues held in this edition of meeting were global energy security, sustainable and inclusive growth, energy access and affordability, fiscal regimes and legal reforms to attract investments in the energy sector and energy sector digitalization-benefits and challenges.
International Energy Forum (IEF)
The IEF is an inter-governmental arrangement set up in 1991 and based (Secretariat) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It serves as neutral facilitator of informal, open, informed and continuing global energy dialogue among its member countries. There are 72 member countries of IEF (comprising of energy producing and energy consuming states, including transit countries) including India, covering all six continents. Its membership accounts for 90% of global supply and demand for oil and gas.
IEF’s Executive Board (EB) was set up in 2002 and comprises of 31 designated representatives of Ministers of the member states. It meets twice a year. International Energy Agency (IEA) and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are non-voting members of the Executive Board. The EB is chaired by the Host State of the next biennial Ministerial Meeting. Indian is currently Chair of IEF’s Executive Board. The IEF Ministerial Meetings are held biennially and is world’s largest gathering of Energy Ministers who engage in dialogue on global energy issues.