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Days after the CCEA announced fixing of gas price for Reliance Industries (RIL), petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily said all roadblocks for the notification of gas price hike have been cleared and it will be notified any time soon. But while the price is hiked for bringing in foreign investors, they will now have to wake up to the revenue-sharing model, the new production-sharing contract, vehemently opposed by the operators. Moily told FE's Promit Mukherjee that the Nelp X round will be under the revenue-sharing model. Excerpts:
Is the price now announced final or are there still some loose ends to be tied?
We had taken a decision in CCEA on June 26 that was based upon the Rangarajan committee. We have accepted that and we will not go back on it. Now that price has been fixed for RIL also, it is final now.
What about requests from power and fertiliser sectors?
That is a different cup of tea. Ultimately we have to produce gas and that is our final objective. If you don’t produce gas then what happens? For example, the rate is $4.2 per mmBtu. If they (power and fertiliser) import it today, they will have to pay $14-15 per mmBtu and that is more costly. Now we need to invite investors. We have the resources, we have the reserves, whether it is shale or CBM or even offshore and onshore. The level of investment is not even 30% and shale is zero. Our north-eastern region is sailing in gas. We have to exploit all of that.
So there will be no rethinking on gas price for fertiliser and power sectors?
No, that is another matter. It is for the fertiliser ministry to work out and then take the subsidy from the finance ministry, like it happens now. You and everyone else should know that for every one billion dollar spent either by the private or the government companies, almost $500-600 million come back to the government.
When is the notification coming? Why has it been delayed so much?
The CCEA has taken a decision on December 20. No sooner the CCEA decision is communicated to the petroleum ministry by the Cabinet secretary, we will not take any more time. We will immediately notify it.
When do the Nelp rounds commence? It is being said that it will be delayed.
Now that the gas price is finally fixed for all, we will