Oil regulator PNGRB gives a little over eight months to IOC, Adani Gas and others to expedite city gas network

Oil sector regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has given up to eight-and-a-half months of extra time to companies such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), GAIL and Adani Gas to fulfil their city gas project rollout commitments impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.

On November 5, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) issued an order granting more time to 41 city gas entities to complete their rollout commitment. The time granted varies from 129 days to 251 days across different geographical areas depending on the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown, the order said.

The extra time is to make up for 69 days of the national lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic and additional restrictions imposed in states. A 60-day restoration period is given on top of the lockdown period.

PNGRB said it has given licences to retail CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to household kitchens and industries in 230 geographical areas across the country. A geographical area is made up of one or more districts. “However, in recent times, the entities have been facing a catastrophic situation due to the outbreak and the spread of COVID-19, a pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) that has affected every sector across the globe, including the city gas distribution (CGD) business,” it said. This resulted in CGD entities unable to perform their obligations.

The regulator listed the pandemic as a condition for force majeure that entitles entities for extra time. IOCGAIL India Ltd, Adani GasGujarat Gas, Torrent Gas, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Indraprastha Gas Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) are among the firms that got extra time

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