GSPCL Plans to Extend Operations Outside India

Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPCL), the country's only state government enterprise in the oil and gas sector, plans to extend operations outside India, mainly in the exploration and production (E&P) sector.

"While the corporation is working on revamping its organizational set-up to handle operatorships of more and more fields and blocks, it is also examining extending its operations outside the country, with strategic alliances with overseas petroleum companies," said a senior state government official, requesting anonymity.

The Rs 1000-crore company, which recently discovered huge oil reserves at Dholka on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city, has finalized plans to explore all 16 wells under the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin in the next two-three years. It will use the proceeds from its proposed initial public offering to invest around Rs 4000 crore for the purpose.

"With the recent oil discovery at Dholka and optimism on recovery of impressive amount of gas from the KG basin, GSPCL's focus on the domestic market will continue as it aims to be country's first real integrated oil and gas entity," the official added. GSPCL has also recently started the business of regassified liquid natural gas (RLNG) as a gas supplier. Its has entered into a contract with Gail India to purchase RLNG which it would sell through the pipeline network of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Gujarat State Petronet.

"We have now got forward and backward linkages and a power station of our own. We are also working as the nodal agency for Government of Gujarat in the petroleum sector. We now propose to effectively diversify into downstream petroleum projects, including setting up of a mini-refinery, handling and distribution of RLNG and pursuing Coal-Bed Methane projects in association with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation," said the official.

Saying that GSPCL will shortly work out its plan for overseas expansion along with senior officials of the state government, the source said GSPCL now has been working towards generating funds to finance its ongoing exploratory works at KG basin.

"We have already drilled first four wells up to 800 meters in phase-I and once we are through with drilling up to 3000 meters which will clearly indicate about gas reserves in the wells, we will initiate for phase two and three for which we will require at least Rs 2000 crore. Drilling of all 16 wells will require investment of around Rs 4000 crore and we are now gearing up for IPO to raise funds from the capital market but floating an IPO may take around six more months of time," said the source.

Besides, GSPCL, Geo Global Resources and Jubiliant Enro are two minor stakeholders in the KG block (KGOSN 2001/3). GSPCL also has been into exploration of gas with Niko Resources of Canada at Hazira near Surat and presently has been producing 3.6 MMSCMD of gas from Hazira field. The Corporation targets to produce at least 5 MMSCMD of gas by end of this fiscal year.