Backtrack on pledge to free gas prices

Vol 4, PW 12 (19 Jul 00) News in Brief

Indian authorities have decided to freeze the price of natural gas sold to customers at December 1999 levels despite the rise in international crude prices.

Figures obtained by Petrowatch (see revised Natural Gas prices below in 'Datawatch') show that the oil ministry has effectively backtracked on a pledge to free gas pricing by April this year by asking Gas Authority of India (GAIL) to maintain December 1999 prices until July. The figures also reveal that the price paid by GAIL to ONGC for its gas has gone progressively down from Rs2,513 ($57.11) per thousand cubic metres in December 1999 to Rs2,228 ($50.63) in July 2000.