Govt is poised to clear the $9.6-billion Cairn-Vedanta deal by the middle of February, ending five months of uncertainty over the controversial deal involving the transfer of India’s biggest onshore oilfield operated by the British explorer.
China’s CNPC, has approached state-run ONGC to forge a comprehensive agreement that could provide it access to India’s oil and gas assets, two officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The govt will, however, take a decision on Wednesday only after weighing political implications of a hike against the need to shore up finances of oil companies.
ONGC and the oil ministry have argued that the deal cannot be consummated without government approval-a point that Cairn grudgingly accepted last month.
The government, set to review fuel prices next week, is under strong pressure from coalition allies to cut excise duty on petrol to partially roll back petrol prices.
India and Turkmenistan will negotiate a price for natural gas supply from central Asia through the proposed $7.6-billion transnational pipeline in February.
Oil companies plan to raise petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 a litre after a week as crude touched a two-year high of $90 a barrel on Tuesday.
Turkmenistan has proposed to charge different prices for supplying natural gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
India’s largest explorer, Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), and the top fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), will appoint lawyers, chartered accounts, IIT professors and prominent IT professionals as independent directors in a move that will boost corporate governance and help the blue-chip firms fulfill guidelines to raise funds from the capital market and exercise greater financial independence with the recently acquired ‘maharatna’ status.
Govt has approved splitting each share of ONGC into two, making it affordable for investors ahead of FPO in which the govt will divest 5% of its holding next year.
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