Essar to double Raniganj CBM output

Vol 20, PW 24 (24 Aug 17) News in Brief

Essar Energy plans to double CBM production to 2m cm/d within a year at its Raniganj East CBM block in West Bengal.

Company director and family scion Prashant Ruia made this passing remark at an August 21 Mumbai press conference to announce the conclusion of a $12.9bn deal to sell Essar's Vadinar refinery, port and power station plus 3500 petrol stations to a consortium of Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP. "We've invested Rs4000cr (in Raniganj)," said Ruia.

Essar also operates the Rajmahal CBM block in Jharkhand and together its CBM assets are believed to hold 1-tcf recoverable reserves. Essar said the deal with Rosneft has a 'non-compete' clause for three years after which it can re-enter the domestic downstream space.

Essar remains the owner of UK's 9m t/y Stanlow refinery, which caters to 11% of the UK market and plans to invest $250m from January 2018 to upgrade the refinery. Essar Oil's new chairman Tony Fountain said at another August 21 Mumbai press conference the new owners see India as "the fastest growing energy market." He said the number of Essar petrol stations would be increased to 6000 but gave no timeline.