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Delhi may revive Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline

The centre is exploring reviving the shelved Myanmar-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline to transport gas from Russia as a part of its ambitious Rs 1,30,000 crore plan to make the northeastern part of the country a `hydrocarbon hub` in next 15 years with an eye on capturing the energy market in Bhutan, Myanmar and other South East Asian countries.

Union minister of petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said here on Friday that the roadmap for pumping in the first instalment of Rs 6000 crore of the total investment in the current financial year has already been prepared.

"We will be bringing in gas from Russia and we are still searching for a viable route and one such route is the Myanmar-Bangladesh-India route. Numaligarh Refinery Limited (in Golaghat district) has already started supplying diesel to Bangladesh. We are looking for new markets now in Bhutan, Myanmar and South East Asian countries," Pradhan said.

Pradhan said that the centre is carrying out its `Hydrocarbon Vision 2030` for the region to make the region a petroleum hub, which aims to double the region`s oil and natural gas output, increase the refining capacities and expanding product pipelines.

"The present combined refining capacity of the four refineries in the region (Digboi, Guwahati, Bongaigaon and Numaligarh—all in Assam) is 7 MT per annum. We aim to jack up total the capacity to 16 MT per annum. We have mapped the market growth and we plan to monetization of the last molecule of gas," Pradhan said.

He said that there the four refineries will be fed with imported crude from Nigeria and West Africa and requested the state government to waive off entry tax on imported crude. The crude oil production in north east was 4.54 MMT and the natural gas production was 11.3 MMSCMD in 2014-15.

Of the Rs 1,30,000 crore investment, Rs 80,000 crore will be for exploration in existing and new oil and gas blocks, Rs 20,000 cr for setting up 5000km of pipeline which include four new natural gas pipelines, five new petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) product pipelines and three new LPG pipelines.

The remaining Rs 30,000 crore will be utilized in the downstream area for expansion of the three existing refineries, setting up a new bio-refinery at Numaligarh and developing city gas distribution (CGD) network across the region.

The centre expects to create around 15,000 direct employment and 50,000 indirect employment over the next 15 years through its plan.

 

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