Rajasthan wants to set up a company like GSPC

Vol 10, PW 5 (29 Jun 06) People & Policy

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia (left) is giving her personal backing to moves by officials in the state administration to set up an oil and gas company similar to GSPC in neighbouring Gujarat.

A senior state government official in the Rajasthan capital Jaipur tells PETROWATCH that BJP chief minister Scindia is enthusiastic about the idea. Work has begun to set up our own oil and gas company, we are told.

We have been asked to go ahead. Chief minister Scindia, we hear, believes a state-government owned oil and gas company would not only earn revenue for Rajasthan but also address the states chronic energy deficit.

Inspiration for the idea comes from neighbouring Gujarat, where the like-minded BJP administration of chief minister Narendra Modi has benefited from GSPCs undeniable success in Gujarat and elsewhere. GSPC is the only oil and gas company owned by a state government in India.

Rajasthan authorities are particularly impressed by GSPCs achievement in setting up a gas pipeline grid within Gujarat and with its success in finding oil and gas in its home state, not to mention the significant discovery in the Krishna Godavari basin. Still, Rajasthans plans are at a preliminary stage.

We have yet to decide the name of the company and other details, adds the official. We are open to having a strategic partner in the company.

No time frame has been set for the new company to come into being. The important thing is that there is clarity in the government on the issue, we hear.

Discussions have begun with other state government owned companies and utilities on the likely corporate structure of the new company. When it is set up, the new oil and gas company will report to the Rajasthan state mines department.

Best known as a tourist destination with its camel safaris, Rajasthan is fast emerging as a major petroleum province following Cairn Energys Mangala discovery and recent gas discoveries on the border with Pakistan by small Indian private player Focus Energy.