Aiming to allow private companies to explore and produce the resource in the blocks they already operate, the government has amended the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules 1959.
The definition of petroleum, a change that would allow private companies to explore and produce the resource in the blocks they already operate.
According to a notification, ‘Petroleum means naturally occurring hydrocarbons, whether in the form of natural gas or in a liquid, viscous or solid form, or a mixture thereof, but does not include coal, lignite, and helium occurring in association with petroleum or coal or shale’.
Prior to this, the definition excluded shale and therefore barred companies from exploiting it from fields that are producing conventional oil and gas or coal-bed methane.
However, the exclusion of natural gas from the purview of GST remains a deterrent to attracting large-scale investments as neither the producers nor the consumers are able to set off the taxes paid on their input and output, he said.
While the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was implemented from July 1, 2017, crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel, and jet fuel (ATF) were kept out of it for the time being. No date for their inclusion in GST regime has yet been announced.