Petroleum ministry, however, has not acted so far on the request of the state government and has decided to transfer the case to the newly set up regulatorthe Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). Ministry officials said the government could not approve any project unless KGNL has a firm gas tie-up. The tie-up with GSPC cannot be the basis for approval as GSPC gas reserves are yet to be validated and certified by the DGH.
Reddy met petroleum minister Murli Deora on Wednesday and sought his intervention in giving expeditious clearance to his state's application to set up a 2,054-km gas transmission pipeline network linking 23 towns. Andhra Pradesh wants to use gas of the Krishna Godavari region, where Reliance and GSPC has stuck huge gas reserves, for making supplies to various towns in the states.
Sources said, during the meeting, Reddy had also questioned Deora on the clearances being accorded to the state-run GAIL (India) Ltd for laying pipelines for over 2000 kms, carrying gas of more than 100 million standard cubic meters of gas per day.
Reddy is also reported to have told Deora that any discrimination being exercised in favour of GAIL should also be extended to KGGNL as the state of Andhra Pradesh has been waiting for the delivery of gas from KG basin for last so many years.
"PNGRB will look into all such applications. We are also transferring Andhra Pradesh case to the board," a PTI report on the issue quoted Deora as saying.
KGGNL is a joint venture firm, formed in September 2006 for establishing a gas grid in Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) and AP government-owned Infrastructure Corp of Andhra Pradesh have 26% stake each while the remaining 48 % is with IDFC.
In December 2006, KGNL applied to Petroleum Ministry for permission to set up the 2054-km state gas grid with pipeline diameters of 14, 16 and 18 inches to carry initial quantities of 15 million standard cubic meters per day gas on a 'Common Carrier' basis from GSPC's offshore discoveries, and from Reliance's D6 block. It also applied for setting up city gas distribution networks to sell CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households, in each of the 23 cities connected by the state gas grid.