GAIL and GSPC fight for gas pool control

Vol 18, PW 5 (23 Oct 14) News in Brief

GAIL has attacked a proposal by former GSPC managing director Tapan Ray for joint control of a proposed national gas pool for the power sector.

Ray wrote to oil secretary Saurabh Chandra on September 15 staking GSPC’s claim as ‘joint aggregator’, predictably angering old rival GAIL. “GSPC thinks with Modi as PM it can do anything,” GAIL tells us.

“But Modi thinks of India's interests now, not just Gujarat.” Ray warns of a monopoly if GAIL becomes sole operator.

“More than one operator,” he argues, “will ensure transparency and competition.” GAIL hits back saying worldwide practice is to have only one aggregator.

“Multiple pool aggregators will complicate price pooling,” says GAIL, “and defeat the whole purpose.” GAIL responded to GSPC this month (October) saying only it is competent to operate the gas pool as it controls an all-India pipeline network.

On September 26, before this month’s new gas price, the oil and power ministries suggested a “pooled price” of $7.98/mmbtu for 16,107-MW of stranded gas-based power across India.