• Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s overseas dreams gas out

    Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC) has wrapped up its overseas operations, resulting in over Rs 17 billion going down the drain. The state-owned company, which is mired in controversy over alleged wasteful expenditure in KG Basin, has already begun the process of relinquishing its only remaining block in Australia. The company has already surrendered 10 overseas oil and gas blocks in Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia and Australia during 2011-15.

    GSPC had acquired five blocks in Egypt, three in Yemen and one in Indonesia and two in Australia. The company had acquired two blocks in Australia, of which one was already surrendered before 2015. “In Australia, one block is already relinquished. In second block minimum work programme (MWP) is completed, relinquishment is being processed,” Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan recently informed the Rajya Sabha.

    “GSPC has reported that its overseas operations are closed,” the minister further added. While there was no exploration success in case of blocks in Egypt and Indonesia, rise in militancy and disturbances in Yemen forced the company to withdraw. When contacted, GSPC’s in-charge managing director J N Singh confirmed the development. “We have closed our Australia operations also. Earlier, we had closed other overseas operations. We now don’t have any further plans for overseas explorations,” he added.

    In its report for the year ended March 31, 2015, tabled in state assembly this year, CAG had pulled up GSPC for its lack of experience as ‘overseas operator’. “The delay in execution of the work committed resulted in cost escalations in overseas blocks. As a result, the company had incurred expenditure of Rs 17.5746 billion for 10 surrendered blocks, of which Rs 17.3412 billion has been written off,” the apex auditor noted. Last week, Congress halted Parliament proceedings over alleged scam in GSPC. Congress leaders on Saturday met President Pranab Mukherjee and demanded an independent inquiry into futile spending of public money to dig for gas in the KG Basin. Anders Bjork Womens Jersey

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