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Energy Sector - 2

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Meeting on Turkmenistan pipeline put off</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 : A steering committee meeting of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Islamabad, has been postponed indefinitely on Ashkhabad’s request, it is learnt.

Pakistan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had organised the meeting and Afghanistan, India and Turkmenistan had agreed to participate. However, the Turkmen government later sought postponement, citing domestic political situation, informed sources told Dawn.</b>

The meeting was considered crucial for the fact that it was to formally consider amendments made by the ADB in the multilateral framework agreement for inclusion of India in the project and discuss the security situation in Afghanistan which was one of the most important factors in realisation of the $4-billion transnational pipeline project.[

<b>On the agenda of the meeting was finalisation of gas volumes by the respective parties. Ashkhabad was to specify how much gas quantities, based on independent certification, it would dedicate for the project and the recipient nations were to put forth their gas requirements through the pipeline that is to stretch more than 1,600kms from Turkmenistan’s south-eastern Daulatabad field to Indian city of Bikaner, via Afghanistan and Pakistan.These estimates (dedication by Ashkhabad and requirement in India and Pakistan) are required to be reflected in the draft gas sales and purchase agreements (GSPA) prepared by Pakistan.</b>

The finalisation of framework agreement by the four participating countries is the key stage where they can think of implementing the project and trigger a host of activities and agreements between and among the four nations and the ADB. The framework is to deal with contractual obligations of the parties in construction of the pipeline, security, gas tariff and uninterrupted gas flows over 30-year life of the project.

The ADB had furnished final draft of the inter-governmental framework agreement to the four nations in April this year along with some modifications that were required to allow inclusion of India in the pipeline project. The original inter-governmental agreement was prepared without making India a part of the project and hence an amended draft was required following an “in principle” decision of the Indian cabinet to join the project.

A source in the petroleum ministry, however, said before finalisation of the four-nation agreement, the stakeholders have to hammer out seven issues that have been hampering progress on gas pipeline from Central Asia to Pakistan for almost two years now. The capital cost of the 1,435km pipeline of 56-inch diameter (from Turkmenistan to Multan) had recently been updated to about $4 billion from $3.3 billion in 2004.

<b>Pakistan believes that bottlenecks hampering progress on the project involved non-confirmation of uncommitted gas volume by Turkmenistan regarding Daulatabad gas field, uncertainties or lack of clarity with regard to price of the gas to be demanded by Turkmenistan and security situation in Afghanistan.

Also there are significant difficulties in the expected implementation of security and risk mitigation measures proposed by the ADB’s consultant and usual delays of the Turkmen government in complying with the decisions taken by the steering committee.</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Nareshji, Good work keep it up.
We in India are presently too much engaged with headless chicken and associated matters. So our parliamentarians perhaps do not have time to deliberate on energy and other essential issues.

<!--QuoteBegin-Ravish+Aug 22 2007, 10:31 PM-->QUOTE(Ravish @ Aug 22 2007, 10:31 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nareshji, Good work keep it up.
We in India are presently too much engaged with headless chicken and associated matters. So our parliamentarians perhaps do not have time to deliberate on energy and other essential issues.

<b>Ravish Ji :</b>

You are welcome!

The Indian Leaders - especially those of the Kriminal Kangress Kammunist Klan have always had their “heads in the clouds - or shall we say in the sand” swearing eternal “Bhai-Bhai” to the Pakistanis.

<b>Mudy Ji,</b> performed the greatest service in this respect to Mother India by posting the <b>Article Ignominy of trading with India from The Friday Times by Khaled Ahmed on Jun 1 2007, 09:13 AM</b> with the following observation by the Author :

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>There is nothing more unconvincing in the Pakistani stance than the Kashmir conditionality. That this conditionality was not invoked in relation to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline may actually have alerted India to the real intent of Islamabad.</span></b>

Please appreciate that Khalid Ahmed has returned in June 2007 to Pakistan after spending an year or so with the Woodrow Wilson Institute where he was a Senior Scholar-Fellow and if he has realized the Pakistani Governments‘-Authorities “One Track Mind” to have India agree to a Natural Gas Pipe Line from Iran traverse Pakistani Territory - which will allow the Pakistanis to have the Pipe Line Blown Up at will - then you and I and all our Fellow Indians should hang our Heads in Shame that the eminent Leaders-Bureaucrats-Policy Makers of India have been under the Lotos Eating Somnolent Spell.

I am sure that once the Pipe Line is constructed with a short period it will be blown up.

Our present Kriminal Kangress Kammunist Klan - if still led by Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh will immediately offer another Hundreds of Confidence Building Measure to Pakistan.

<b>That every Month of “Disruption” in the Natural Gas by the Pipe Line via Pakistan will lead to a Loss-Damage of at least Five Per Cent to India’s GDP will not cause an loss of sleep to our beloved Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh if he is still the Leader of the Kriminal Kangress Kammunist Klan Government in power at the Centre.</b>

My above observation is from the public pronouncements of the Indian Leaders with respect to the Iran-Pakistan-India Pipe Line.

However, once cannot discount the teachings of Chanakya as well as the fact that <b>Haathi Kay Daant Khaanay Kay Aur - Dikhaanay Kay Aur!

Note :</b> One has had the privilege of meeting Ronen Da in London Gaam. I support him and agree that "they" are running around like "Headless Chickens" when they should be sitting down and discussing how they can "amend" the so called "Treaty-Agreement" to suit India's Needs & Requirements rather than the usual "CPI, CPI(M), CPI (ML)" and their Ilk to reject everything from the USA and kowtow to the "Orders" form Moscow (by the CPI) and Beijing by the rest.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>India loses to China for Myanmar gas</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India has lost out to China on import of natural gas from Myanmar offshore fields where Indian state-run firms have 30 per cent stake.

Myanmar government in February this year decided to sell gas from Blocks A-1 and A-3 to China through the pipeline route, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora said in reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Here you go.
Some big changes are happening in this sector.
Pak and Iran gas pipe line, they are saying they will ink deal soon, but why US will let this happen. US is twisting India's arm when it comes to Iran. India is saying they have interest in Iran-Pak Gas line deal.
Reliance is busy drilling in Gujarat and Raj.
Burma and Bangladesh side is closed for now.
Burma uprising is because of higher oil price, same can happen in India.
As Cheney/Greenspan said, without US presence in Iraq, we can see oil price may go over $120 per barrel and Venezuela President can do this with Iran President.

What is India's strategy regarding energy resources is not clear?
I think in case of democrat President of US, they will put lot of pressure on India and China. China business is already hammered by lead and food recall. India will see same twisting. Yesterday Bill Clinton was saying in of his interview that we should set examples for China and India. If they see our success, they will implement our practice. It means, create new solar business and paste it on India and China, by this they can balance trade gap.


[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Pakistan to buy more gas from Iran</span></b>[/center]

<b>ISLAMABAD : <span style='color:red'>In a new development, Islamabad has communicated to Tehran that Pakistan is ready to import 5 billion cubic feet gas per day through the proposed $3.6 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas line to make the project more economically viable as India is currently pursuing a wait and see policy, a senior government official told The News.</span></b>

Pakistan and Iran are currently holding technical talks at the Joint Working Group level. Dr Ghanimi Fard, the special representative on gas project, led the Iranian side to the talks while Secretary Petroleum Farrukh Qayum led the Pakistan team. The Iranian team will leave today (Sunday) for home.

<b><span style='color:green'>Under the earlier proposed $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) mega project, Islamabad was to import 3.15 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day from Iran (1.05 bcf per day under phase 1 and 2.1 bcf under phase II). However, India was to import 1.05 bcf per day in phase-I and 3.20 bcf in phase-II).

According to the official who attended the meeting, now under the new scenario in the wake of India's 'evasive' attitude as the Indian experts did not participate in the recently-held meeting in Tehran and even in the meeting at Islamabad, both Iran and Pakistan have decided to materialise the IP project and to make the project economically viable, the authorities concerned in Islamabad have placed new offer that Pakistan would import 5 billion cubic feet per day gas through the pipeline having radius of 56 inches.

*"We have also asked the Iranian authorities that the gas to be imported from Iran can also be exported to China in the shape of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as the western part of the China is short of energy. If it happens, then the project would become further economically viable."*

The LNG terminal would be made in Gwadar where the proposed IP pipeline would reach and the piped gas would be converted into LNG for export to China through proposed railways line from Gwadar to western part of China.</span></b>

The Ministry of Railways is vigorously studying the feasibility of laying tracks from Gwadar to China. The official said that Pakistan had also extended offer to Iran to establish its own terminal in Pakistan.

The official also disclosed that both the countries would follow the model of French laws to settle down amicably any dispute with regard to the IP gas pipeline in future after the commission of the project.

When asked if Pakistan had managed to include a clause in the final draft of the agreement which would make Iran bound to uninterrupted supply of gas, the official said that Pakistani experts were very careful in this regard and would ensure the inclusion of every kind of clause that would ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to Pakistan.

When asked as to whether Iran had agreed to take back its demand of revising the gas prices after every three years, the official said that Iranians were a tough nut to crack on this count. "So Pakistan has extended a proposal that the prices should be revised after every 10 years.”

The Iranian delegation refused to respond to Pakistan's offer and said they would communicate this offer to the top authorities concerned in Iran and then would come up with their response.

"It means that there still exists a deadlock over the Iranian demand on revision of gas prices after certain period of time."

Pakistan is of the view that gas prices have already been linked with Japan crude cocktail (JCC) formula, which means in case the crude oil price increases then the gas prices would escalate and in case the crude oil price tumbles then gas prices go down accordingly, so there is no need to revise gas prices.

However, the official said right now in the ongoing talks in Islamabad, both sides had made progress on finalising the four sub agreements, which would be a part of the final draft of the Gas Sales & Purchase Agreement (GSPA). The official said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had already approved the said formula on April 10, 2007.

<b><span style='color:green'>* :</span></b> Only the Indian <b>Policy Makers</b> will fall for this “Con Trick”!

Reasons :

1. Why would China have the Iranian “Natural Gas” Transported to Pakistan and then have it converted to LNG?

2. It would be a typical <b>“Stupid Pakistani Idea”</b> to transport LNG by a “Refrigerated / High Pressure” Railway Tank Wagons which will entail “Huge” Transportation Costs when China can have the LNG Transported Directly by LNG Carriers from an Iranian Port Directly to a Chinese Port!!

I am sure that Mani Shankar Aiyar and his "Cohorts" will be running all over New Delhi begging the Indian Petroleum Ministry and Officials to <b>Simbly Yimmediately Yagree to Yall Iranian-Pakistani Demands-Conditions!!!</b>

3. It is to be noted that the Western Part of China i.e. Xinjiang Exports Huge amounts of Natural Gas by a Natural Gas Pipe Line to the Eastern Chinese Seaboard and possibly also Central and Northern China.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Oil firms bleeding but Govt puts off price hike</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sai Narsimha, Director, Finance at the Indian Oil Corporation, says the company sees its losses going up by Rs 3,000 crore if global crude price continues to rise . "Our under-recoveries are coming out to be Rs 122 cr per day. We have incurred huge losses,” said Narsimha.

At the current prices the total revenue loss of oil companies stands at Rs 54,935 crore and total losses at Rs 60,000 crore. The Government has three options to help the oil companies: the first is to hike prices of petrol and diesel.

A marginal hike could be on the cards but<b> Gujarat elections and the Left could make the Government stay away from this politically sensitive decision</b>.

The second option is to cut excise duties on petrol and diesel, but Finance Minister P Chidambaram is strongly against this.

The third option is to issue more oil bonds or transfer a part of the cost burden to companies like the Oil and Natural Gas Commission and Gas Authority of India Limited. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Public sector companies are used to promote agenda to stay in power, they are not using sound economics.
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Nov. 13, 2007, 6:53AM
Conference shows blood and oil can mix — in Houston
'Pumps & Pipes' lets heart doctors brainstorm with petroleum experts
Copyright 2007 Houston Chr
SciGuy blog It's not surprising that heart doctors and petroleum engineers have professional conferences. But it is rather unusual to find them sitting through PowerPoint presentations in the same meeting room.

Yet that's just what happened Monday when leading heart surgeons and cardiologists from the Texas Medical Center convened with oil and gas researchers from some of Houston's top energy firms.

Such a pairing might seem odd, but it turns out that two of Houston's biggest industries have a lot in common. Both heart docs and oil execs want to push liquids — be it blood or oil — through long, narrow tubes, without blockages or corrosion, for extended periods of time. Both also want to closely monitor these tubes, and want to be able to fix problems when they arise.

Would it be possible, then, for doctors and engineers to learn from one another? That's what Dr. Alan Lumsden, a professor of surgery at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, pondered 18 months ago when he dreamed up the idea of the "Pumps & Pipes" conference.

"I wanted it to be a uniquely Houston event," he said. "No one anywhere can do this quite like we can do it here."

He soon found a willing partner in ExxonMobil's research department to sponsor the conference.

"We put a high premium on thinking outside of the box," said Bill Kline, research manager for Exxon's Upstream Research Company. "The highest value thing we can have here is a new idea. What we really hope with this conference is to spark dialogue and creativity and fresh approaches to our problems."

40-year-old precedent
So on Monday, Houston Mayor Bill White found himself addressing a conference room at the University of Houston filled with 130 heart doctors, oil and gas engineers and UH research scientists.

He hailed the "visionary" approach of Lumsden and those assembled.

"We are fortunate in this community to be a world center in life science research and energy research," White said. "These are tremendous assets we have, but it would be an even greater asset if there is a cross-fertilization today of ideas between the two industries."

There is one precedent that suggests such an experiment might work.

Nearly four decades ago a young Oklahoma surgeon named Lazar Greenfield lost a patient after blood clots in the man's legs eventually clogged up his lungs. Greenfield removed the clots from the lungs, but the patient still died.

Greenfield thought there must be a better way, and a suggestion from an engineer friend in the oil industry led the two men to develop an implantable filter for trapping blood clots before they reach the lungs. Since then more than 500,000 Greenfield filters have been used in patients.

"We're hoping to make more connections like that today," Lumsden said.

Fundamentally, heart doctors and engineers at Monday's conference said they do the same thing. Both use ultrasound and other techniques to see into places where humans can't go — for doctors, inside the heart and arteries; for engineers, 10,000 feet below ground. Doctors use catheters. Oil and gas engineers use drills. And so on.

In the sessions, heart talks were followed by analogous talks from the oil and gas field.

There was, for example, first a talk on "Left Ventricular Assist Devices" by Dr. George Noon, of the Baylor College of Medicine. It was followed by a discussion of "Subsurface Pumps" by ExxonMobil Production Company's Rodney Bane. Later in the day Dr. William Cohn of the Texas Heart Institute spoke of "Staples, Glues and Stitches." This was followed by "Multi-Lateral Well Junctions," from Baker Hughes' Daniel Craig.

"The day is structured in a way that all of the parallels will become readily apparent," said Ioannis Kakadiaris, director of UH's Computational Biomedicine Lab. "And there are so many parallels."

Planning for next year
Organizers appeared to be expecting success. They rather presumptively titled the conference "Pumps & Pipes 1," with the expectations of more to come in the future.

Kakadiaris said next year's conference would include presentations from research collaborations of heart doctors and oil engineers who connected at Monday's event.

"So get talking!" he exhorted the crowd before one break.

Gandhi's charkha goes hi-fi!
25 Nov 2007, 2020 hrs IST,PTI
NEW DELHI: Light, action and entertainment! The hand-cranked spinning wheel, popularised by the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, has now been given an electronic tweak to transform it into a hi-tech gadget that not only produces yarn but also light a bulb on demand and is can even power a transistor radio.

Called the 'e-charkha,' the invention by a Bangalore-based engineer is an ordinary charkha fitted with a battery and connected to a LED light. The energy produced by the charkha while it is being spun is used to charge the battery attached to the bottom of the spinning wheel and the power thus generated can power up a LED light used in home lamps.

The maintenance-free lead battery fixed to the charkha functions as an inverter, and charges itself from the energy generated when the charkha is spun.

"The big spinning wheel is connected to a generator and using the charkha for approximately two hours can generate enough power to light up an LED bulb, or to play a small transistor radio for around 6 to 7 hours," says Hiremath, an engineer who has patented the invention.

Launched formally by the President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil at the function in the capital recently the gadget has won approval of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, which is planning to induct two lakh pieces across Khadhi weaving centres across the county.

The engineer, whose company Flexitron, has patented the invention says, "In remote areas of the country, uninterrupted and regular electricity is still a dream. The charkhas will help boost the income of the weavers in rural and far-flung areas as well as break the monotony that they are accustomed to. They can listen to the radio while they spin."
Solar water heaters are a must now in Karnataka <!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->
DH News Service, Bangalore:

<b>With a view to promoting the use of solar energy, the State Government has made the use of solar water heating system compulsory for all categories of houses with built up area of 600 sq ft and above, industries, hospitals and nursing homes and hotels, among others.</b>

To reduce the wastage of energy due to the use of incandescent bulbs, the government has made compulsory the use of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL) in all government and aided buildings. However, no time-frame has been set for the installation of solar heaters.

In a notification, the Energy Department has stated that all departments will have to amend their rules/by-laws within a period of two months from the date of issue of the order, to make the use of solar water heating systems compulsory.

These departments will also designate a district and state level modal officer. He will monitor and report the progress of enforcement to the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL).

The notification also says use of use of Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) would be made compulsory in government buildings, besides buildings of aided institutions, boards and corporations. The use of incandescent lamps is banned in all these buildings with immediate effect.

Power utilities will effect necessary modification in the load demand notices within two months from the date of issue of this order to promote the use of CFL, while releasing/sanctioning new connections/loads.

The government has also made mandatory use of ISI marked motor pump sets, power capacitors, foot/reflex valves in agriculture sector.

Moreover, the notification says that all the new buildings to be constructed in the government/ aided sectors will incorporate energy efficient building design concepts, including renewable energy technologies with effect from one year of the date of issue of order.

A committee shall be formed by the PWD to examine all new building plans/drawings to be constructed in the government/aided sector. This should be done to ensure that all features of the energy efficient building design concepts have been incorporated in these.

The notification says that KREDL has been designated as “The Designated Authority” to coordinate, regulate and enforce the provisions contained in the Energy Conservation Act.

*Govt move to reduce wastage of energy
*Incandescent bulbs get the boot
*Use of CFL to be promoted
*All new buildings in govt/aided sector to be energy-efficient

Another interesting article.

Solar energy from balloons

Arun M Isloor

<i>Electricity from Balloons? Tough as it is to believe, that is what Dr. Pini Gurfil of Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, has developed.</i>

He has come up with a number of designs for generating electrical power using helium-filled balloons carrying embedded solar cells. The advantage of this is in the amount of solar radiation captured.

Solar radiation reaches the Earth's upper atmosphere at a rate of 1,366 Watts/m2. While travelling through the atmosphere, 6 percent of the incoming solar radiation (insolation) is reflected and 16 percent is absorbed, resulting in a peak irradiance at the equator of 1,020 W/m².

Average atmospheric conditions (clouds, dust, pollution) reduce insolation by 20 percent through reflection and 3 percent through absorption. In North America the average insolation lies between 125 and 375 W/m² (3 to 9 kW/m²/day).

Photovoltaic panels currently convert only about 15-25 percent of incident sunlight into electricity; therefore, a solar panel in the contiguous United States delivers on average 19 to 100 W/m² or 0.45-2.7 kW/m²/day. In addition, the DC/AC conversion incurs an energy penalty of 4-12 per cent.

When grid connected, solar electric generation can displace the highest cost electricity during times of peak demand (in most climatic regions), can reduce grid loading, and can eliminate the need for local battery power for use in times of darkness and high local demand.

The main disadvantage of solar electricity is limited power density, requiring relatively large collecting sites, occupying considerable land. In this regard, Dr. Gurfil and his team mitigate this deficiency by designing a lighter-than-air system for collecting solar electricity.

This concept may be used as backup for existing power plants or as a primary energy sources in countries where land resources are scarce.
The lighter-than-air craft technology has been proven useful for various commercial, military and civil applications, including meteorological balloons, intelligence blimps, and stratospheric observatories.

To date, however, there are no existing balloons comprising embedded solar cells for electricity generation.

These balloons are strapped to the ground using dual-use insulated cables, carrying helium to the balloon and transporting electric charge to a ground segment.
The choice of helium rather than a hot-air balloon stems from its unique properties: Low boiling point, low density, low solubility, high thermal conductivity, and inertness. In addition, pressurized helium is commercially available in large quantities.
Because of its extremely low index of refraction, the use of helium reduces the distorting effects of temperature variations in the space between lenses in some telescopes.

According to Dr. Gurfil, the new design developed by him has several clear advantages. First, the balloon concept transforms light into electricity without occupying precious land area. It constitutes an accessible, portable and infrastructure-free access to electric power that could be used in diverse locations, including remote areas and at sea.

The Technion researchers estimate that two helium balloons will be needed for each apartment/house unit. With mass production of the solar cell coated helium balloons, the price will fall dramatically from where it stands today - $700 for each cubic meter of cellular cell.

The researchers, who have registered a patent for their method, hope that it will be competitive with existing energy sources.

<i>Reader in Chemistry, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal University</i>
The use of balloons appears to be a very useful idea as it will increase the efficiency of the system. Secondly, it can be used for solar power generation in places where enough land is not available for use by large solar panels.

In India power is needed both in the urban and rural areas. So far India has not been able to provide electricity to every village in the country. Even in villages where electricity has been provided, the supply is mostly erratic. Not much headway has been done in providing electricity. The same is the case with the agricultural pumps and other essential power consuming points in the rural areas.

It is indeed a welcome move on the part of the Karnataka Government in forcing at least some people to use solar energy. Frankly speaking in the urban areas, the use of solar energy for power generation in individual units is rather limited due to high cost of open space. However, in the rural areas there is considerable scope of use of solar energy.

To start with the Government should ensure providing solar lighting at least in one building in every village. It can be either the local panchayat office or the primary school. The next in the agenda should be the rural health centers. Here, the very few diagnostic types of equipment that are available are often unserviceable due to non availability of electricity. Making available solar power lighting in the rural areas, even in a limited scale will be a significant step in our overall effort of rural economic development.

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>USD 4 Billion Tap gas pipeline project in jeopardy</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>ISLAMABAD, Nov 28 : The $4 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (Tap) gas pipeline project is unlikely to materialise even in the next decade owing to Russian gas giant Gazprom’s fresh agreement with Turkmenistan for increased Europe-bound gas supplies at enhanced rates, it is learnt.</b>

Gazprom would be paying about 50 per cent higher price to Turkmenistan from next year.

Informed government sources told Dawn that Pakistan was weighing the new developments in the background of a just postponed ministerial meeting of the three countries and a revised agreement between Gazprom and Ashgabat.

The revised agreement apparently means that the Central Asian state would have little surplus gas available for export to the South Asian region.

Not only that, the price could become a stumbling block because Pakistan and India may find it “unaffordable for their economies” when compared with the much prosperous European region.

The sources said Pakistan was surprised to know at the eleventh hour that Ashgabat has been holding an international energy conference on the dates that were fixed for a ministerial steering committee meeting in Islamabad on Nov 27-28.

Pakistan has planned to complete the project by 2012 under a energy security plan, but the deadline is becoming beyond imagination, an official said.

The sources said under the revised understanding with Gazprom, Turkmenistan would increase gas deliveries to it to about 50 billion cubic metre (BCM).

Gazprom that delivers about one quarter of Europe’s total gas needs would now pay $130 per 1,000 cubic metres to Ashgabat early next year and then $150 per 1,000 cubic metre by the end of the next year instead of current rates of $100 per 1,000 cubic metre.

Turkmenistan and Gazprom have a 25-year gas supply agreement valid until 2028 but Ashgabat, the sources said, uses export projects like Tap to improve its price with Gazprom.

The world’s 10th largest gas producer, Turkmenistan’s total gas output currently is slightly higher than 60 BCM a year. Last year, its total exports stood at around 45 BCM.

Since the death of former President Saparmurat Niyazov last year, the Turkmen economy is opening up for foreign investment.

His successor Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov plans to quadruple gas output to about 250 BCM by 2030 and Ashgabat would need more than $25 billion to develop its offshore Caspian reserves.

Therefore, enough reserves are apparently not available in the immediate future for a South Asian gas pipeline, the sources said.

Already, Turkmenistan is expecting a major competition among big players like the US, Europe and China to keep Gazprom under pressure on pricing issue.

<b>Likewise, the US and the European Union are using their influence for a pipeline that could link Turkmenistan’s yet to be developed gas fields with Europe through Turkey in what is called a southern corridor to bypass Russia.</b>

The 1,680km Tap pipeline of 56-inch diametre needs at least 30 BCM of gas per year from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan.

The project cost has now been estimated at $5.3 billion. India had also been invited to join the project last year that started attending steering committee meetings as an observer.

According to the World Bank, however, “further progress will depend on the robustness of the gas reserves data, certification of the reserves, extent of possible private interest, ability and willingness of Turkmenistan to fulfil its commitments to Gazprom and still supply Pakistan”.

The ability and the willingness of Turkmenistan to feed this pipeline while fully honouring its earlier commitments to Gazprom for the European and former Soviet Union markets and the extent of possible private sector interest will also remain a challenge while the sharp increase in gas prices delivered to the European markets could make the option of exporting to South Asia less attractive to Turkmenistan and thus the export price could also become a major issue.

<b>Challenges in the Tap project also include mitigation of the security risk in Afghanistan, improvement in India-Pakistan relations, and programmes to minimise or phase out fuel subsidies in both countries and finally the ability of the pipeline options to withstand competition from liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the long run, according to the bank.</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo--> Chad invites India to explore oil
30 Nov, 2007, 0411 hrs IST,Nirmala Ganapathy, TNN
NEW DELHI: A ministerial delegation from Chad, which met external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh, has expressed willingness to allow India to participate in oil exploration in the country. India has offered Chad training in various sectors, including the petroleum sector, in exchange for participation in oil exploration in the West African country.

At present, there is no Indian participation in the oil and gas sector, while China is making its presence felt in a major way from oil exploration to building the country’s first oil refinery. The government, aware of these developments, is now actively looking at initiating oil talks with the landlocked country, especially as the Chad government plans to auction 20 blocks by the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008.

And the Chad government, which wants Indian expertise in setting up a fertiliser plant, a cement factory and technical know-how in the diary and leather industry, is only too willing to trade with oil blocks. Sources said the Chad government in response to the Indian interest has said it will look at giving oil blocks to India. Chad commerce minister Youssouf Abbassalah, who is leading the delegation, said, “I would like to mention that our minister of petroleum was in Delhi (for the India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference) which is an indication that we are open for a partnership with the private sector. This co-operation could be either in upstream or downstream and in exploration.’’

He also said, “Since 2003, we have been producing 200 million barrels a year. We have a number of oil blocks which are unexplored.” Though he was unwilling to reveal the exact nature of talks with the government, he said, “We are open to any inquires in the petroleum field from India and its private sector.” Three years ago, Chad had put up four blocks for auction. China lost out at the time with one block going to the US and three blocks being bagged by Canada. But China came in last year, buying rights to an oil exploration block from Canada. Early this year, China National Petroleum Corporation announced that it struck commercial value oil for the first time in Chad.

An energy-hungry China has been fast gaining ground in Africa, which is being projected as the last frontier for developing oil and gas reserves and Chad is emerging as an important country for China. India’s policy in Africa is to build ties by offering “cost-effective and intermediate technologies” and human resource development and capacity building.

Officials here say the pattern of ties between India and Africa is different, and that it is a relationship based on technical help and capacity building and not just on assistance, whereas China’s labour policy and hunger for resources has generated bad press. However, China is also developing infrastructure in Chad from building new roads, providing irrigation and setting up mobile telephone networks. And the fact remains that India has lost out on oil exploration blocks to China in other parts of Africa.

But Chad is now open to an Indian presence. “If India comes, we will prefer India,” said Mr Abbassalah, adding that Chad also has a huge reserve of minerals, including uranium. “Yes, we have uranium reserves. We have already signed contracts with three companies for carrying out exploration activities. There are more blocks, and I would invite Indian companies,” he added.

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Iran wants to sign IPI pipeline deal with new government</span></b>[/center]

<b><i>* Deal signing now likely in March - Draft will not be amended</i></b>

<b>ISLAMABAD : Iran has said that it wanted to sign a Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) on the $7 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project with an elected Pakistani government, sources told Daily Times on Tuesday.

Sources said that the signing of the GSPA was scheduled in Abu Dhabi this week, but was postponed because the Iranian government said it wanted to sign the deal with an elected rather than a caretaker government.

Deal signing : The signing of the deal is now likely in March as the elections are scheduled for February 18.</b>

No amendments were likely to the draft of the deal, sources said. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet has approved the draft. The ECC has also approved a formal request for an additional 1.05 billion cubic feet per day if India did not join the project. Pakistan will import 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas from Iran if India stays out of the project. The signing of the deal had earlier been delayed because Iran said it was awaiting approval from its board on the project.

Technical and financial feasibility studies of the project are already underway and expression of interests is likely to be invited through international bidding.

Officials earlier said the price of the imported gas would be linked to Japan Crude Cocktail. A 56-inch pipeline will be laid if India joins the project, and a 36-inch pipeline otherwise.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Energy sector offers average salary of Rs 6.5L for freshers
6 Feb, 2008, 1400 hrs IST,Mitul Thakkar, TNN

AHMEDABAD: The energy sector is buoyant and it is reflecting in the first campus placement of the country’s only petroleum management institute. The giants from the energy sector have selected 30 students of the Institute of Petroleum Management-Gandhinagar.

The average salary offered has been close to Rs 6.50 lakh a year, at par with other premier management institutes in the country. The campus placements started on Friday would be over by the weekend with about 15 companies queuing up for the remaining 30 students.

"On Day 1, Hindustan Petroleum selected 13 students while IndianOil selected seven students with an average salary of about Rs 7 lakh a year. Apart from Cairn India, Reliance Group recruited two students while Punj Lloyd would place students in Gulf for its overseas operations," said institute sources. The final figure of the average salary would be known once all the students are placed in days to come.

E&P major Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, general insurance player ICICI Lombard, oilfield service provider Weatherford and state venture Gujarat State Petronet recruited students on Day 2 of campus placement on Saturday.

Weatherford is learnt to have offered a package of Rs 8.5 lakh per annum. "We are enthusiastic with the response we have received so far. It is our first placement and the institute is hopeful to place all its students by the end of the week,” placement coordinator Pramod Paliwal told ET.

"IPMG is trying to get the best job profile instead of joining the bandwagon to claim the inflated pay packages. It is the first campus placement for the twoyear-old institute and it does not want to take any chances with the placements. IPMG wants its students to play long productive innings with the recruiters," said the source.

On Monday, Torrent Group interviewed students. Players like Adani Group, Aban Offshore, Sabarmati Gas and Bharat Petroleum held interviews on Tuesday. Gulf Oil and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation are some of the majors who are yet to visit the campus.
<b>NHPC's S K Chaturvedi front-runner for PGCIL's top post</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->7 Feb, 2008, 2102 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: National Hydro-electric Power Corp Director (Personnel) S K Chaturvedi has emerged the front- runner for the top post of the country's largest power transmission utility PGCIL, whose current CMD R P Singh retires on July 31.

Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Paper Corp Raji Philip has been chosen as the second favourite contender for PGCIL CMD by the Public Enterprises Selection Board, which conducted the interviews on Wednesday, said.

As many as 17 executives from companies such as NTPC, NHPC, and PFC are believed to have appeared for the interview.

The aspirants included CMDs of Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board Rajeeb Ranjan, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam's H K Sharma, Cement Corp of India's A K Srivastava and and Mineral Exploration Corp's A K Lomas.

PESB would forward the names of Chaturvedi and Philip to the power ministry.

R P Singh would vacate the chair on July 31, the same day as PFC CMD V K Garg does. NTPC CMD T Sankaralingam is set to retire on May 31 this year.

Interviews for the two posts have also been conducted by PSEB. While PFC Director Finance Satnam Singh is the front- runner for the top post in his company, NTPC Director (Operations) Chandan Roy is likely to take over from Sankaralingam.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
NTPC, Bharat Forge in JV for power plant components
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->7 Feb, 2008, 2212 hrs IST, REUTERS

NEW DELHI: India's state-run power producer NTPC Ltd will form a joint venture with Bharat Forge Ltd to make power plant components, with an initial investment of Rs 30 billion, an official said.

"We will sign a memorandum of understanding with Bharat Forge on Thursday itself," NTPC chairman T. Sankaralingam said.
Initially the proposed plant would manufacture castings and forgings used for power plants, he said.

Bharat Forge would hold the majority 51 percent in the JV with NTPC owning the rest, he said.

Once formed, the new joint venture would also bid for tenders and at a later date may manufacture primary power plant equipment like turbines and boilers, he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>ABB wins Rs 330 crore orders from Power Grid</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->8 Feb, 2008, 1913 hrs IST, PTI

BANGALORE: ABB in India has been awarded orders worth around Rs 330 crore to provide turnkey substation solutions and a range of power products to Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) as part of their efforts to strengthen the transmission grid across the country.

ABB has been entrusted with the design, supply, erection and commissioning of a new 400/220kv GIS (Gas Insulated Substation) at Chamera in Himachal Pradesh, an ABB press release said.

This project includes 400kv and 220kv bays, power transformers, shunt reactors and the latest IEC 61850 based substation automation system.

This will serve as the power-pooling substation for the Buddhil and Chamera III hydro power plant. The cutting-edge GIS technology from ABB brings significant space-saving, higher reliability and safety benefits.

The 400kv and 220kv GIS for this project, to the tune of Rs 70 crore will be supplied from ABB in Switzerland.

ABB will also be supporting PGCIL in its efforts to strengthen the Western grid with new 400/220 kv substations to be set up in Pune and Solapur as well as extensions to the 400 kv substations in Parli, Aurangabad and Kolhapur.

ABB's scope includes design and supply of the substation, 400/220 kv power transformers and instrument transformers, a range of circuit breakers as well as PLCC equipment.

ABB will also provide control and protection systems, including the latest IEC 61850 compliant substation automation based on an open systems protocol. The projects are scheduled for completion in around 24 months and part of the orders were booked at the end of 2007, it said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>PM to lay stone for power plant in Gondia district</b>
8 Feb, 2008, 1659 hrs IST, PTI

NAGPUR: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of a 1,980 mw super thermal power station on Saturday in Gondia district of Maharashtra.

State Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh will preside over the function while Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will be chief guests, official sources said on Friday.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil and host of cabinet ministers from the state will be present at the foundation stone function of the 1,980 MW super thermal power station, of the Adani Group, at Tiroda.
NTPC, Bharat Forge tie up for Rs 3,000 crore equipment JV
8 Feb, 2008, 0000 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Power generation major NTPC has signed an MoU with Bharat Forge to set up a manufacturing unit of components for power plants with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.

The 51:49 joint venture, where Bharat Forge would hold the majority shareholding, will manufacture castings and forging for power plants, NTPC chairman and managing director T Sankaralingam said.

The proposed JV would start operations within 15 months of incorporation, he added. The MoU was signed between Baba Kalyani, CMD of world’s second-largest forging maker Bharat Forge, and the NTPC head. Mr Sankaralingam said the MoU would not interfere with NTPC’s existing deal with Bhel. “There is no exclusive deal with BHEL. We are two independent companies and are at liberty to produce any equipment,” he added.

NTPC and BHEL have signed a JV agreement for carrying out engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities in the power sector for both domestic and overseas markets. Mr Sankaralingam said the new venture with Bharat Forge would also bid for tenders.

After a slippage in meeting the 10th Plan target, the government has been promoting the idea of having more players for equipment manufacturing, being dominated by BHEL. Infrastructure firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has also proposed to make power equipment with Japanese Mitsubishi and Toshiba. The government is considering to provide the private sector some projects on a nomination basis the way it is given to Bhel for absorbing a new technology.

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