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“ONGC needs to explore more to be able to discover more oil and gas reserves and bring them quickly to production to increase national production. The government is very clear that ONGC needs to do more,” he said. told reporters here.

The government is pushing the public sector giant ONGC to involve private sector companies and service providers where possible to help increase oil and gas production, Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor said Thursday.

Kapoor’s comments came days after the second official in his ministry asked the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to cede a 60% stake as well as operational control in the largest production fields of Kapoor. oil and gas from Mumbai High and Bassein to foreign companies. .

“ONGC needs to explore more to be able to discover more oil and gas reserves and bring them quickly to production to increase national production. The government is very clear that ONGC needs to do more,” he said. told reporters here.

India is 85 percent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs, and one way to reduce the high import bill is to increase domestic production. “Naturally when they do more work there are areas where they can get experts in areas… like on the high seas,” Kapoor said.

Findings that the company was unable to develop or areas that it was unable to explore are some of the examples where CGSB can engage the private sector and foreign companies.

The CGSB, he said, should identify areas where it can leverage the expertise and effectiveness of the private sector. These could range from technical collaboration to handing over partially explored and undeveloped discoveries to private companies. The private sector can also be involved in improving the production of existing fields.

“We only made suggestions to ONGC (…) the government cannot give directives to a Maharatna company. The final decision must be made by the board of directors of the company,” he said. -he declares.

Amar Nath, Additional Secretary (Exploration) at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, wrote a 3-page letter on October 28 to CGSB President and CEO Subhash Kumar, saying that the productivity of the offshore assets of Mumbai High and Bassein & Satellite (B&S) as part of a state-owned enterprise was weak, and international partners should be invited and given a 60 percent stake (PI) and an operator role.

This is the second time since April that Nath, who sits on the CGSB leadership as the government’s longest-serving appointed director on its board and often seen as a potential candidate to replace Kumar the next year, wrote an official letter, portraying a bad image of the company’s performance.

According to the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by PTI, it said the redevelopment projects would increase recovery of the mature and declining Mumbai High field from 28% to 32%, “which is quite low.”

Mumbai High, which was discovered in 1974, and B&S, which went into production in 1988, are the main assets of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), contributing two-thirds of its current oil and gas production. Without these assets, the business will end up with only smaller fields.

Nath had written to Kumar on April 1 to sell his stake in producing oil fields such as the Ratna R-Series to private companies, obtain foreign partners in the KG Basin gas fields, monetize existing infrastructure and entrust the drilling and other services to a separate company. to increase production.

Nath’s two letters are the third attempt by the Oil Ministry to get ONGC to privatize its oil and gas fields under the Modi government.

In October 2017, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, the technical arm of the ministry, had identified 15 producing fields with a collective reserve of 791.2 million tonnes of crude oil and 333.46 billion cubic meters of gas, to be handed over to private companies in the hope that they would improve the base estimate and its extraction.

A year later, as many as 149 small and marginal CGSB fields were identified for private and foreign companies on the grounds that the public company should focus only on the large ones. The first plan failed due to strong opposition from the CGSB, sources familiar with the matter said.

The second plan went to Cabinet, which decided on February 19, 2019 to cede 64 marginal fields of CGSB. But, this tender received a lukewarm response, they said, adding that ONGC was allowed to keep 49 fields provided their performance was strictly monitored for three years.

Nath, in his April 1 and October 28 letters, said two years have passed since the Cabinet decision, but ONGC has yet to initiate the partnership process. CGSB produced 20.2 million tonnes of crude oil in the fiscal year ending March 31 (2020-2021), up from 20.6 million tonnes the previous year and 21.1 million tonnes in 2018- 19. It produced 21.87 Gm3 of gas in 2020-21, compared to 23.74 Gm3 the previous year and 24.67 Gm3 in 2018-19.

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