No gas or connectivity for â€کunauthorised' CGD networks

Vol 11, PW 11 (04 Oct 07) People & Policy

This will come as bad news for private sector City Gas Distribution companies like Adani Energy, Haryana City Gas and others with NOCs (No Objection Certificates) only from state governments.

PETROWATCH learns the oil ministry regards these CGD ventures as â€کunauthorised’ and is in no mood to give them either subsidised domestic natural gas or connectivity to state-owned GAIL’s gas transmission pipelines. The ministry will make this crystal clear to the Supreme Court when it sends its response to statements by Haryana City Gas and Adani Energy (See above).

A senior oil ministry source tells this report that a â€کnotice’ had been received last week on this issue from the Supreme Court. “It (the notice) is nothing major, it is a routine matter for us to be asked to give our say on such issues,â€‌ we are told.

“In 2004 the Supreme Court said natural gas is a petroleum product and falls in the Union List. Only the government of India has jurisdiction over natural gas, not the states.

This extends to â€کauthorising’ companies to set up CGD networks in states.â€‌ Highly unlikely, says the ministry, is that the Supreme Court will reverse its 2004 ruling in favour of Haryana City Gas and Adani Energy.

“Haryana City Gas, Adani Energy and others have not been given authorisation by us,â€‌ says the ministry. “They are going ahead on the basis of letters from state governments.

â€‌ There is no ambiguity, we are told, about the Supreme Court ruling of 2004. If these companies decided to go ahead with letters only from state governments, “it is their problemâ€‌.

The ministry says it will send its response (to the Haryana City Gas and Adani applications) to the Supreme Court in time. “Our response will be that these companies are not authorised by us.

(So), it is unlikely that they will get either connectivity or APM (subsidised) gas.â€‌