Archive for December, 2012

DOT To Approve RIL‘sTest Voice Services on 4G network

December 26, 2012

A report by the Economic Times stated that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) might soon grant approval to MukeshAmbani ledRIL (Reliance Industries Limited) for carrying out testson its 4G networks.

It has also mentioned that a specific department of DOT, Telecommunication Engineering Service (TEC) has put forward the idea of offering around 10,000 mobile numbers to support its testing process. Furthermore, it has also given a go ahead to InfotelBroadband,owned, and managed by RIL, for connecting its network to other operators wherein these it will be possible for them to make outgoing calls and receive incoming calls using these 10,000 test numbers. This department caters to the research and development of new products and services and is at the helm of establishing new standards.

However, it has levied rules and regulations ensuring that the testing is restricted to specific geographic areas and same equipment is put to use for varied tests effectuated in different circles. DOT has also forbidden Reliance Infotelfrom engaging in offering any kind of commercial services and has announced a definite time for carrying out these testing activities.

While RILclearly rubbished rumors of its tie- up with any other company for offering its voice services earlier this year, it also recently confirmed about its plans of manufacturing its own handsets, in tune with its 4G services. Even as the present telecom policy does not sanction the provision of voice services through 4G licenses, the new telecom policy soon to roll out in 2013, is expected to come as a relief, permitting operators to provide voice services through 4G or BWA, following the deploying of a new framework advocating liberalizationof spectrum utilization, in the country.

A few days back, there were reports of the conglomerate investing $ 10bn on its 4G network wherein it collaborated with Spirit DSP for offering voice and video call services(VVOIP), similar to Skype, in its upcoming LTE network. Thisdeal allows Spirit’s TeamSpirit voice and video engine to be accredited as Infotel’s.

Based on the present reports, RIL has set the stage for rolling out its 4G service, in mid2013, in Mumbai and Delhi, initially. For the same, it has embarked on varied collaborations with top-notch companies like Ericsson and Samsung for building its network, IBM for IT support, Microsoft for security solutions, Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) for building optical fiber cable network in targeted cities (Delhi and Mumbai) , where it intends to roll out its services, initially.

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RIL Embarks On New Gas Find at Cauvery Basin

December 18, 2012

The Government has given a green signal to RIL (Reliance Industries Limited) to work on assessing its new discovery at the deepwater Cauvery–Palar basin. After a number of discoveries including the Krishna – Godavari, the energy giant has come up with another discovery in the Cauvery basin. Sources claim that this discovery will add momentum to the company’s field developments and enable it and its partner BP to expand their portfolio. Preliminary findings suggest that the first well SA 1 has a potential of over 100 million barrels of condensate or liquid oil and around 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

A senior official has mentioned that the government has already offered the approval letter to the operator. Further proceedings may start only with the company appraising its discovery and submitting its field development plan. RIL had won this block, extending to 8600sq km, under the bidding round of NELP – III. It currently has a 30 percent participating interest in the block. Following government’s approval, BP might also hold a 30% participating interest, owing to the strategic partnership between the two companies.

The operator also mentioned that they had conducted a flow test previous month, to comprehend the yield. This test, monitored by the officials of upstream quasi regulator – Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, revealed that it yielded 40 million cubic feet of gas per day and 1200 barrels of light oil per day via a 38/64 inch choke. At present, CYPR-D6 holds a lot of significance for RIL, second to the KGD6 block.

At a water height of 2000 metres and a depth of 4000 square metres, the deepwater strike was carried out. The company is presently in talks to drill seven exploratory wells in this block, additionally. The location of the block in the new frontier areas makes it even more noteworthy.

Reliance is highly optimistic about the potential of this new block as it has evaluated the same using a number of tests including Modular Dynamic Testing and Drill Stem Testing. The discovery is at present named ‘Dhirubhai -53,’ according to sources.

Located at the southern east coast of India and the North Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka, it is a passive margin rift basin. Since the year of 1986, the coast has been in the news for a number of discoveries being carried out there.

RIL May Foray Into The Hydrocarbon space With The Purchase of El Paso Unit

December 5, 2012

The Bloomberg report announced that the energy giant, RIL (Reliance Industries Limited) is keen on buying the exploration and production (E&P) of the US Pipeline company El Paso Corp. After building a strong presence with its acquisition of shale gas assets in the US in the non- conventional energy, RIL may soon enter the conventional hydrocarbon space. At present, the conglomerate has stakes in three gas shale ventures in the US with its valuation translating into an amount of $ 44.5 billion.

It was first announced by the US regulators, in October and then in November about Kinder Morgan Inc’s takeover of El Paso, for around USD 21 billion. This deal marked the association of the two largest natural gas companies. In addition, it was mentioned that Kinder intends to sell the E&P assets of the division, in order to make the acquisition more feasible for it. By the end of the second quarter of 2012, the deal is set to wrap up.

Other than RIL, private equities like Appolo Global Management are in talks to buy the unit. Analysts like BNP Paribas are known to estimate the figure to be $ 8.1 billion. Another analyst who is involved in domestic brokerage mentions that everybody is interested in investing their assets abroad, since the current regulatory and business climate of India seems volatile and RIL intends to expand its shale gas space activities in the US. The E&P activity in the US has marked a new high with its shale gas discovery and the horizontal drilling technique has further augmented the process in the North Dakota state.

Considering the size of its refinery in West India, Mukesh Ambani led RIL endeavors to expand its share of crude production to meet the needs and is hence, exploring for oil investments in the USA. In addition, the company tasted success as BP, UK announced its acquisition at 30% stake in the 23 Oil and Gas producing sharing contracts that it presently operates in the country other than infusing a colossal amount of $1.8 billion for further enhancements, paving way for the development of other viable discoveries. However, to build a 50:50 joint venture for the two companies with respect to gas sourcing and marketing, there would be a need of another $ 11 billion investment for a number of years, raising the overall installment to $ 20 billion.

RIL is presently, weighing the pros and cons and is yet to decide on its bidding, in the unit.