Getting environmental clearance becomes easier

Vol 16, PW 5 (20 Sep 12) News in Brief

Securing environmental clearance is often cited as one of the biggest headaches faced by oil and gas companies in India.

With luck this should change. PETROWATCH learns that on September 7 environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan cleared the appointment of retired bureaucrat M.

Raman to head an ‘expert appraisal panel’ to clear stuck infrastructure projects, including more than 20 oil and gas proposals. Most are waiting for the obligatory ‘terms of reference’ set by the environment ministry before beginning Environmental Impact Assessments.

“We still don’t know when the panel will hold its first meeting,” says an industry source. “But we are happy it has been set up.

” Dormant since the retirement of its last chairman MB Lal (former HPCL chairman) the 13-member panel’s job is to hear industry requests for environmental clearance. ONGC has submitted 11 proposals, mostly to drill wells, as have Jay Polychem, Selan Exploration, Essar Oil and Heramec.

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