New Delhi: In an attempt to de-risk its exploration business, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to foray into gas retailing business through a new subsidiary -- ONGC Gas Ltd.
ONGC would use the new subsidiary for its foray into city gas distribution business and sale of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), company officials said here.
The new unit may be aimed at making amends to the company letting go lucrative opportunities to enter gas business.

Though being the country's largest natural gas producer at around 55 million cubic meters per day, ONGC has virtually no presence in marketing of the environment friendly fuel.
All of its gas is marketed by state-owned GAIL India Ltd. It had let go marketing rights on gas from even newer fields as also of LNG imported by Petronet LNG Ltd.
ONGC holds 12.5 percent stake in Petronet LNG, the nation's largest liquefied natural gas importer. This is the same as the stake held by GAIL and refiners Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp. While others market a share of LNG imported by Petronet, ONGC had never demanded sale rights.
Also, plans to set up a LNG import facility at Mangalore were shelved. But under Sudhir Vasudeva, ONGC is renewing its focus on natural gas, whose share in India's primary energy basket will almost double to 20 percent by 2025.
ONGC is part of a consortium which is vying for British energy group BG's stake in Gujarat Gas, which retails CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households in cities like Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat.
Officials said ONGC Gas would bid for city gas distribution (CGD) licences and explore possibility of setting up a LNG import facility. Also, it may import LNG at one of the terminals in the country and market the fuel to consumers directly.

ONGC believes that the nation's dependency on imported LNG, now estimated at 30 per cent, would rise as production of older domestic fields falls.
ONGC had few months back appointed A T Kearney to chart out its city gas foray. A T Kearney suggested setting up of ONGC Gas for bidding for licence to retail CNG to automobiles and piped cooking gas to households, they said.
Gas business would help the firm de-risk its exploration business with oil and gas output from majority of its old and ageing existing field slated to hit a decline soon.


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