Friday, June 24, 2022

Govt has advised ONGC to bring in partners for Mumbai High, Bassein fields: Minister

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  • ‘The government is keen that domestic oil and gas production increase exponentially’
  • ‘ONGC being the leading organisation has to play an important role’

New Delhi: The government has from time to time advised Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to bring in partners for increasing the exploration and production (E&P) of oil and gas in Mumbai High, Bassein and Satellite fields, Minister of State (MoS) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli told the Lok Sabha on Thursday. On being asked whether the government has any plan to give away 60 percent stake and operatorship of ONGC’s Mumbai High and Bassein and Satellite (B&S) offshore assets to international partners for raising output, the minister said that the government is keen that domestic oil and gas production increase exponentially.

“The government from time to time advices ONGC to increase exploration and production by having partnerships for its major fields including Mumbai High and Bassein & Satellite asset with scope of enhancing recovery and technology infusion,” said Teli in a written response to the question raised in the Lok Sabha.

‘ONGC has to play important role in increasing production’

The minister reiterated that ONGC, being a leading E&P organisation in India, has to play an important role in increasing domestic oil and gas production. “The Government is keen that the domestic production of Oil and Gas should increase exponentially. ONGC being the leading organisation has to play an important role. While on one side, area under exploration has to be increased which would subsequently lead to more new discoveries in the country, on the other side, production from existing fields has also to be optimised and increased wherever possible by employing advanced technology, drilling more production wells, wherever technically feasible, and better management,” said the minister.

Teli said that national oil companies are free to choose business models from an array of options to enhance production from maturing fields. “As per reforms in exploration and licensing policy for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas, issued in 2019, National Oil Companies are free to choose field specific models including farm out and joint venture/ Technical Service Model for enhancing production from their matured and aging fields,” said the minister.

‘ONGC should take stakeholders’ view into consideration’

Amar Nath, Additional Petroleum Secretary (Exploration), had on October 28 written a three-page letter to ONGC CMD Subhash Kumar, saying that production from Mumbai High and Bassein and Satellite (B&S) offshore fields have been on the decline and the oil major should consider inviting international partners by offering 60 percent participating interest and operatorship in these fields. The proposal was met with resistance from ONGC officers’ union, who wrote a letter to the ministry against the recommendation.

Acknowledging the letter, Teli said, “The representation from officers of ONGC was received in the Ministry. However, ONGC being managed by the Board and a listed company is required to consider the views points from the perspective of various stakeholders including from the officers unions.”

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