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Vedanta bets big money on ramping up output, but sets rider

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Mining mogul Anil Agarwal has said his company Vedanta Ltd will invest over USD 6 billion to double and gas production to 4,00,000 barrels per day in 3 -4 years, but wants the to extend field licence without any condition.

He also wanted the to allow export of crude produced from the Barmer fields in to discover the right price.

"I have a feeling that the world does not want to produce oil. They want to keep supplying oil to India," he told PTI in an interview here.

Agarwal, who was one of the two dozen CEOs of top global and Indian firms to have brainstormed with Prime Minister Modi on ways to increase domestic output yesterday, said has about 70 billion barrels of resources that can be produced for 35 years.

Right policies and unencumbered clearances, according to Agarwal, should be given without delays. "I feel that except for environment clearance, there should be no other clearance required," he said.

Vedanta, which in 2011 bought from its British promoters at an enterprise value of USD 14.5 billion, has "not recovered the money spent on the acquisition", he said.

"But we are investing more. We are determined to double the oil and oil equivalent of gas production to 4,00,000 barrels per day in 3-4 years," he said. "We are investing Rs 40,000 crore more in and other fields."

During first half of the current fiscal, Vedanta Ltd produced over 1,84,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas (boepd). The Rajasthan block produced 1,56,278 boepd.

Agarwal suggested that the should extend the Rajasthan field contract beyond the current tenure ending May 2020, without any condition.

"Asking for 10 per cent more profit petroleum (for extension) will make it unviable," the Vedanta chief said.

The government had earlier this year decided to give 10- year extension of producing licence provided an additional 10 per cent from the profit earned from the oil and gas field is given to it.

"The extension should have been automatic. People will come and invest only when policies and conditions are not changed mid-way," he said.

Agarwal said crude from Rajasthan is currently sold at a discount of 15 per cent of what similar quality gets in the global market.

"We are not going to actually export, but if we have an export permission, the domestic buyers will have to match the best price such will get," he said, adding that the government would be the biggest beneficiary as 80 per cent of the price realised goes to it in the form of taxes and statutory levies.

Vedanta today produces 27 per cent of India's production and "we want to do 50 per cent for which we need enabling policies", he said further.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 10 2017. 14:48 IST