Government asks state oil firms to present integration plan

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Source: The Economic Times
Saturday, March 25, 2017

 NEW DELHI: State oil firms have been asked to present a plan for integration, which should happen in 2017-18, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said. 

In his budget speech two month ago, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the plan to restructure state oil firms to create an integrated ‘oil major’ but didn't give much detail. 

The Oil Ministry has now asked state firms to prepare a plan for the merger, Pradhan said. The Oil Ministry and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management will oversee the process of integration, he said. 

On whether the government planned to sell its shares in Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) to Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Pradhan said, "There is nothing in front of me." He said the progress will be made only after companies submit their plan. 

Separately, Pradhan said he did not rule out the possibility of India joining China, Japan and Korea in jointly buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to extract better deals. China, Japan and Korea have recently agreed to cooperate on jointly purchasing LNG and sharing related information. 

The power is gradually shifting from oil and gas producers to consumers, Pradhan said. 
A supply glut in the past three years has pummeled oil and gas prices and given heavy consumers like India better bargaining power. 


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