BP disappointed with India

Tags: News
BP, India's single largest foreign investor, today expressed "disappointment" at the pace of approvals in the country and said the new government must reform its gas price regime for survival of the gas industry.

BP, which in 2011 bought 30 per cent stake in Reliance Industries' 21 oil and gas blocks, including KG-D6 for $ 7.2 billion, has been frustrated by the delays in getting approvals for its plans to revive the sagging output from eastern offshore KG-D6 fields.

Its chief executive BoB Dudley said the company's experience so far had been "disappointing."

"It has been disappointing, the pace at which certain things have been approved -- the price rising up towards a market price, there have been a number of delays in seabed surveys and the appraisals of various projects," Platts quoted Dudley as saying at the 'World Petroleum Congress' in Moscow.

Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

BP and RIL last month slapped an arbitration notice on the government for delay in revision of prices that were due from April 1.

Dudley said the government must reform gas price regime.

"You just have to look at the natural gas prices around the world. It seems not right that it would be more economic to produce gas in Australia and sell it into India at $ 20 per million cubic feet, than be able to develop the resources in India," he said.

The previous UPA government had in December last year approved a new formula for pricing of all domestically produced natural gas from April 1. The formula, which would have doubled the current $ 4.2 per million British thermal unit, could however not be implemented as elections were declared.

The new BJP has reviewing the formula but has not yet taken a decision.

"I'm very hopeful that the price will move up, per the previous government's decision, which has been put on hold. It's very important, or the entire offshore industry in India is at risk. I'm hopeful that the new government will move the price up. It's actually essential to preserve that industry," Dudley was quoted as saying.

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