Slow progress of Reliance's gas pipeline from KG fields

Vol 10, PW 18 (11 Jan 07) Midstream & Downstream

Plans by Reliance to lay a gas transmission pipeline from its Dhirubhai fields in the Krishna Godavari basin to Gujarat are making slow progress.

PETROWATCH learns Reliance has so far begun work only on Phase-I of the project and that too at a snail’s pace. Only 6-km of pipeline has been laid in Andhra Pradesh.

“By 7th January contractors had welded just 80 to 90 connections,â€‌ we hear. “Work in Gujarat has not even begun.

â€‌ Contractor Stroytransgaz of Russia is using automatic welding machines but this doesn’t seem to have helped quicken work on the 300-km stretch of the pipeline in Andhra Pradesh that it was awarded. Reliance has appointed Chinese contractors to lay the Gujarat section of the pipeline but they have come up against the traditional mistrust of China within the Indian bureaucracy.

Some 1800 Chinese workers are expected in Gujarat to lay the pipeline but authorities have issued visas for only 380. As of today only 200 are on site but they can do little because their equipment is held up at customs awaiting statutory clearances, making it difficult to begin work anytime soon.

During Phase-I Reliance wants to commission six gas compressors to transmit up to 40m cm/d. This will rise progressively to ten compressors that can transmit 80m cm/d.

One of the ten compressors will be for the exclusive use of Gujarat State Petronet and another for GAIL. Reliance has agreed in-principle to supply Gujarat State Petronet between 4m to 11m cm/d over 15 years from the Dhirubhai fields and has reached agreement with GAIL to route 11m cm/d through the soon-to-be laid Dahej to Uran pipeline and another 15m cm/d through the Dahej to Vijaipur pipeline.

Reliance will need between 11m to 14m cm/d for use at its expanded refinery in Jamnagar. It has also set aside 19m cm/d for the NTPC power plants at Kawas and Gandhar, provided the two sides can resolve their court battle and reach a new agreement on price.