The petroleum ministry has decided to allocate 0.2 mmscmd gas from ONGC for Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited’s (BCPL) Assam Cracker project for internal consumption for C2+ extraction plant at Lakwa. BPCL has been trying to arrange for gas for the project for past several months to expedite the execution of the project.
In a recent meeting taken by the petroleum ministry to discuss the gas availability to the project, it was decided that the long-term requirement of BCPL Lakwa can be met by allocation of 0.2 mmscmd out of 1.1 mmscmd of additional gas from the new discoveries of Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC) in Assam Block AAP-ON-94/1. However, this is likely to be available after 2015.
In the interim, BCPL is to be allocated 0.2 mmscmd of gas by ONGC. For effecting this allocation, the ministry stated that pro-rata cut may be implemented within the existing Gas Action Plan for gas being supplied by OIL in the region and BCPL may be allowed to utilize ONGC gas at Lakwa for shrinkage and internal consumption. Combined allocations of gas produced by ONGC and OIL in the state of Assam are 7.54 mmscmd, which majorly comprises of power and fertilizer units, LPG, refinery, petrochemical, and tea gardens. Against this, average supplies during 2012-13 were around 5.80 mmscmd.
In an earlier meeting, ONGC had indicated that around 0.15 to 0.2 mmscmd is available from their various isolated fields in District Golaghat which can be allocated to BCPL, however, the gas needs to be transported through Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL) for which AGCL may require to lay or expand their pipelines for transportation of this gas. During the meeting, ONGC and AGCL informed that development of necessary infrastructure including laying of pipeline in order to make this gas available to BCPL, Lakwa would take around 30 months time from the date of allocation. This option would therefore not be able to meet the requirement of BCPL for 0.2 MMSCMD gas by February, 2014.
BCPL’s Assam gas cracker project is located in District Dibrugarh of Assam. BCPL is a Joint Venture promoted by GAIL (70%), OIL (10%), NRL (10%) and government of Assam (10%). The project was approved at a cost of Rs. 5460.61 crores. However, the cost was later revised to Rs. 8920 crore. The project, initially expected to be commissioned by April 2012, is likely to be commissioned by early 2014.