NTPC in talks with energy PSUs for Nelp, CBM bids

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 6 2009, 05:55am hrs
Indias largest power generator NTPC is in talks with ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil Corporation and Gail India to jointly bid in the 8th round of New Exploration and Licensing Policy (Nelp) and 4th round of coal bed methane (CBM). NTPC may follow a consortium route to bid for some blocks in Nelp-VIII and CBM-IV.

A total of 70 blocks are offered under Nelp-VIII and 10 blocks for CBM-IV for global competitive bidding. NTPC is looking at an unincorporated JV with consortium partners.

NTPC's investment will depend on the minimum work programme. The bidding ends on October 12.

NTPC, which expects to increase its installed generation capacity to 50,000 mw by 2011-12 from the current 30,144 mw, would individually bid for smaller blocks offered in the Cambay region.

NTPC will go with one of the threeONGC, Oil India and IOCfor deepwater blocks mainly from the Kutch region. Similarly, NTPC is talking to Gail India to jointly bid for some of the blocks under CBM IV. NTPC is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Reliance Industries for the supply of KG D6 gas at $2.34 per million British thermal unit.

NTPC sources told FE, Of the total generation capacity of 30,144 mw, its gas based capacity is 3,955 mw. NTPC's plan to expand the generation capacity at Kawas and Gandhar plants by 2,650 mw largely depends on the outcome of the court order on the KG D6 gas availability at the price of $2.34 per mmBtu at which RIL quoted during the international competitive bidding. Against this backdrop, NTPC proposes to bid individually or with partners during Nelp -VIII and also CBM-IV.

ONGC plans to invest over Rs 50,000 crore in developing new oil and gas fields and increasing output from the existing ones. Of this, over Rs 16,000 crore is being invested to improve output from seven fields.

Moreover, Oil India, which last week listed on the bourses, plans to drill 17 exploratory wells in 2009-10 and 22 in 2010-11. The company would spend Rs 302.23 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 549.7 crore in 2010-11 aggregating Rs 852 crore.

Further, IOC was awarded two on-land type-S blocks in the Cambay basin, with 100% participating interest and operatorship, in the seventh round of the Nelp.

In addition, a consortium of Indian Oil and other companies was awarded a deepwater block in the Krishna-Godavari basin. In all, IOC now has participating interest in 11 domestic and nine overseas blocks.