Monday, February 25, 2019

Oil regulator PNGRB rejects HPCL review petition on ATF pipeline

Oil regulator PNGRB has rejected HPCL’s objections to consultations it had initiated to break stranglehold of PSUs on lucrative pipeline supplying jet fuel to Mumbai airport, saying the refiner will get a formal opportunity to make its case against the move. In a February 21 order, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) said it had on November 7, 2016, received a request from Reliance Industries seeking declaration of two pipelines emanating from Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum’s (BPLC) refinery and terminating at Mumbai International Airport as a common carrier so that the same can be shared by any third-party on open access and non-discriminatory basis.

PNGRB wrote to both HPCL and BPCL seeking certain clarifications. After repeated reminders, HPCL opposed the move stating that the PNGRB Act provides for only city and local distribution networks for gas to be used as common carriers. Subsequently, PNGRB initiated public consultation on Reliance’s request. HPCL then filed a review petition with PNGRB stating that “the Board has formed its opinion without consulting the entity owing ATF pipelines.”

PNGRB in its order said HPCL had given written objections in the consultation process. On HPCL’s contention that it was not given an opportunity of being heard, PNGRB said the law provides that “after closing of public consultation process, an opportunity of being heard is to be given to the concerned entity within a minimum notice period of 21 days”.

“As the views and comments have been received and those have been web-hosted, the PNGRB now gives an opportunity to HPCL for a formal hearing as per provisions under Section 20(2) and Regulation 10(1)(b). HPCL may submit a comprehensive representation to the Board and appear for a hearing on April 5, 2019,” the order said. BPCL and HPCL built and operate two separate pipelines from their Mahul refineries in Mumbai to supply jet fuel (ATF) to airlines at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Santacruz in the city.
24/02/19 PTI/Financial Express
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