Oil marketing companies are reworking on their strategies to convert their retail outlets into compressed natural gas (CNG) retailing units. The development comes after Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) new regulation stating that the CNG stations anchored on petrol pumps will not be open to third party hiring.

Currently, oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd have let out space in their fuel retailing stations for CNG supplies to the city gas distribution (CGD) companies, including Indraprastha Gas Limited and Mahanagar Gas Limited.

According to reports, IOCL is closely monitoring the developments in CGD segment and is keen on increasing its presence in the same. Of the 228 geographical areas (GAs) authorised by PNGRB, IOCL, along with its joint ventures, has presence in 40 GAs. It has targeted to increase its presence across 50 GAs by 2025 and 60 GAs by 2030. Meanwhile, IOCL has also planned to add 300 CNG stations during 2020-21.

As on date, HPCL is already dispensing CNG through its 550 retail outlets. It plans to add CNG dispensing facilities at additional 150 outlets during 2020-21. Meanwhile, the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulation are expected to be Mahanagar Gas Limited and Indraprastha Gas Limited. CNG constitutes about 73 per cent of the total volumes for these two companies.