Construction of gas grid set to begin

Vol 4, PW 2 (01 Mar 00) Midstream & Downstream

There's little doubt that Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has set itself some ambitious targets for the construction of the gas grid.

By 31st March it hopes to commission the first section of the grid - a 15km, 36" diameter line stretching from Hazira to Mora in Gujarat. Along the way sits a power and steel plant belonging to Essar Oil, the fertiliser company KRIBHCO, a power plant commissioned by GSPC and another one owned by Reliance.

In the mind of the planners are three potential sources of gas which will compete for entry into this section of the grid: An estimated 2.5m tonnes a year of LNG from Shell's development of Hazira (targeted to land in the last quarter of 2002); indigenous gas from the prolific Hazira gasfield operated by GSPC and Niko Resources (currently producing 620,000 cubic metres a day with estimated recoverable reserves of at least 230m cubic metres); and (possibly) gas from the CB-OS/2 exploration block, if Cairn Energy (100% operator) strikes it lucky. Also in March, GSPC plans to implement the second leg of the pipeline - a 120km link from Mora to Dahej, where Petronet-LNG hopes to land 5m t/y of LNG.

A final blueprint of the gas grid will emerge only when Bechtel submits its final 'Techno-Economic Study For a Gas Grid in the State of Gujarat' (exact title of the 30-pg study). On 23rd March, Bechtel submitted its interim version to GSPC.

This is presently "under review" by GSPC, which intends to make "significant inputs". The final Bechtel report is expected in Gandhinagar by 15th March.