‘We will double crude output from Barmer after renewal of contract’

‘We will double crude output from Barmer after renewal of contract’

Jaipur: Cairn Oil & Gas is ready to double crude oil production from the Barmer fields in the next three years from the current levels of 200 barrels a day.

Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Ltd, the parent of Cairn Oil and Gas, said that as soon as the Production sharing contract gets extended, the investments, already earmarked, will be pumped in. “Banks want documents. So, we need the extension from the government. Once that is done, the work will start immediately,” said Agarwal who was in Jaipur to meet the state’s chief minister. Agarwal said that the Centre has been expediting the process, but it needs to be faster.

He said that they also want to ramp up the gas production from the Barmer fields from 30,000 barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) to 100,000 boe a day.

Similarly, Agarwal said that Hindustan Zinc is the largest producer of silver in the country, having 800 tonnes annually. “We want to be the number one silver producer in the world.

The topography of the mines show there is enough to double the capacity to about 1500 tonnes,” added Agarwal.The Centre still holds a 29 per cent stake in Hindustan Zinc. Agarwal said that for any key decisions, they need to get approvals from the government and sometimes it takes time.”We have to go to the government for approvals because they are shareholders. Once the divestment of the residue stake is completed, we can move faster and achieve the targets,” he added.He said the democratic countries do not run businesses, rather they focus on governance. “Democratic countries look for better revenue collection so that they can take care of social sector obligations,” he added.

On the divestment of government companies, Agarwal said that they will participate like others. The Centre has already identified companies like Hindustan Copper, Shipping Corporation of India and BPCL for privatization. “We will participate. If we win the bids, we will turn them around like we did with Hindustan Zinc,” added Agarwal.

Agarwal who has pledged 75 per cent of his health for philanthropy and recently signed the Giving pledge said he will Rs 5,000 crore over the next 5 years social impact programmes. “Nand Ghar will be a key initiative for us. My dream is to work for the development of children and women. We are spending Rs 500 crore every year on the Nand Ghar activities.”Currently, Vedanta runs 1385 Nand Ghars in Rajasthan and has signed an agreement with the state government to develop 25,000 of them in Rajasthan.


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