New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) India will soon have a petroleum and natural gas regulatory board as the search process for the selection of its members has begun, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has said.
'The ministry has already constituted a search committee headed by member (energy), Planning Commission, for selecting the chairperson and other members of the proposed regulatory board,' Deora told the parliamentary consultative committee attached to his ministry Wednesday evening.
In April, the government had enacted the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006, legislation for setting up a regulator for downstream petroleum sector activities - processing, storage, refining, transportation and marketing - to protect the interests of consumers and entities engaged in specified activities.
The board would also be entrusted with the responsibility to ensure uninterrupted and adequate supplies of petroleum and gas products in all parts of the country and to promote competitive markets.
Presenting the targets for the 11th five-year plan, the minister said that a 26 percent increase in the domestic production of crude oil to 211.64 million tonnes is proposed for 2007-2012.
In the 2002-07 plan period, a target of 167.74 million tonnes is likely to be achieved.
The natural gas production is projected to increase by 41 percent during the 11th plan period to 224.56 billion cubic meters (BCM) over the estimated production of 158.79 BCM for the 10th plan period.
The first coal bed methane (CBM) gas production is slated to begin in 2007-08, making India one of the few countries to successfully produce gas from this alternative source of hydrocarbon.
During the 11th plan period CBM production is projected at 3.78 BCM.
The country is likely to witness gas production from another alternative source like underground coal specification (UCS) by 2012.
The parliamentary panel was also informed that overseas production of oil and gas during the 11th plan is projected to increase to about 45 million tonnes.
The members were informed that the ministry proposed to bring 65 percent of India's sedimentary basins under exploration by the end of the 11th plan period.