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Mukesh Ambani sees oil and gas fields in Punjab
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Punjab has oil and gas fields. This is a strong belief of Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance group of Industries.

In fact, the main subject matter of his luncheon meeting with Capt Amarinder Singh at new Motibagh Palace in Patiala yesterday was the exploration of oil and gas in the state.

According to highly-placed sources, Mr Ambani told the Chief Minister that preliminary surveys conducted by geologists deployed by the Reliance group of Industries, which is a major player in gas and oil business after the ONGC, have found definite signs of oil and gas reserves along the Indo-Pak border in the Punjab area.

In fact, the Reliance group has applied for permission to the Director-General of Hydrocarbons, India, to start exploration in the border belt from Ferozepore to some parts of Rajasthan.

The sources said the Reliance group got the clue regarding prospects of gas and oil fields from such explorations made across the border by the Pakistan-based oil companies. Pakistani companies have found oil and gas fields across the border opposite the Punjab and Rajasthan area.

The Ambanis have been making heavy investments in oilfields in the country. Once the permission is accorded by the Director-General, the Reliance group will immediately swing into action to start digging in the border belt, it is learnt.

The Reliance group has shown interest to install a gas-based super thermal plant of 3000 MW near Doraha in Ludhiana district. In case, gas is located in the border belt of Punjab, then the cost of power generation in the proposed gas-based thermal plant will be far less.

Otherwise, the cost of power generation will be around Rs 3 per unit in case gas is transported from on-shore or off-shore areas near Mumbai.

The Reliance group is also showing a keen interest in the gas pipeline from Iran and Uzbekistan via Pakistan to India. However, because of security reasons, this proposal has not taken off yet.

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