ONGC to invest Rs 31,000 cr on exploration over next 3 years

ONGC has said that it will invest Rs 31,000 crore over the next three years on exploration activities, which will help the PSU in augmenting its production

New Delhi: State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has said that it will invest Rs 31,000 crore over the next three years on exploration activities, which will help the oil behemoth in augmenting its oil and gas production. The oil major has said that it will also seek global oil majors and leverage their expertise for assessment of India's sedimentary basins for future exploration and exploitation plan. The news comes as ONGC has witnessed a steady decline in crude oil production over the past years. The government has been tough with ONGC, urging the oil major to take steps to increase its exploration and production.

"Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) held its 349th Board Meeting on May 26, exclusively for firming its future exploration strategy. The company has drawn up a comprehensive roadmap to further intensify its exploration campaign, allocating a capital expenditure of about Rs 31,000 crore in the next three fiscal years during FY 2022-25. This is 150 percent of its exploration expenditure of Rs 20,670 crore in the last three fiscals during FY 2019-22. ONGC also plans to leverage international collaborations with reputed global majors for this, for which talks are in an advanced stage," said ONGC in a statement on Friday.

This exploration intensification plan includes activities funded through ONGC's internal programme as well as funded and facilitated by the government.

What is ONGC's plan?

Under the government-funded program for appraisal of unapprised offshore areas till Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), 70,000 line kilometres (LKM) of state-of-the-art 2D broadband seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation (API) will be done in three sectors namely West Coast of India, East Coast of India and Andaman offshore. ONGC will complete the technical bid opening (TBO) for seismic data acquisition by June, said the PSU.

In Andaman Basin, ONGC presently holds two blocks for exploration under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). The government has also acquired seismic data in some sectors within 'No-Go' areas and few prospects are already identified. ONGC has plans to drill six wells in the next three years (two under ONGC committed work program and four through government funding). Reputed global companies/consultants are being invited for the assessment of the basin for future exploration and exploitation plan.

ONGC to re-explore mature basins

ONGC's internal program has three components; re-exploration of Mature Basins, consolidation of Emerging Basins and probing of Emerging and New Basins. Under this internal program, ONGC is trying to probe around 1700 Million tonne of oil and oil equivalent gas (MMTOE) of Yet-To-Find (YTF) reserves during FY 2022-25. The activities here include the state-of-the-art 2D and 3D seismic survey, followed by drilling of around 115-120 wells with an estimated outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore every year for the next three years.

In addition, the government's facilitation has resulted in the release of about 96,000 sq. km area so far, which was earlier demarcated as a 'No Go' zone. This will further help ONGC achieve its acreage acquisition programme of bringing around 5,00,000 sq. km under active exploration by 2025, said the PSU.

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