ONGC To Invest $2 Billion To Drill Wells In Arabian Sea To Raise Oil, Gas Production

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will invest over $2 billion in drilling a record 103 wells on its main gas-bearing asset in the Arabia Sea, a company official said according to the news agency PTI. India’s top oil and gas producer ONGC plans to add 100 million tonnes to its production, it added. 

ONGC has three main assets off the west coast – Mumbai High, Heera and Neelam, and Bassein and Satellite. These contributed to the firm’s 21.7 million tonnes of oil and 21.68 billion cubic metres of gas production in 2021-22.

“We have released a record 103 locations for drilling of wells on the Bassein and Satellite (B&S) assets over the next 2-3 years,” ONGC Director (Offshore) Pankaj Kumar said.

The wells will assist increase output by tapping smaller, previously untapped reserves.

“We estimate that this development drilling will enhance production by over 100 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas over the life of the field…The investment involved in drilling and facilities will be over $2 billion,” Pankaj Kumar said. 

Two-thirds of the oil and gas produced in the country is by ONGC, thus any further production would help India reduce its reliance on imports to fulfil its energy demands. Around 85 per cent of the crude oil needed to make gasoline and diesel in refineries is imported into India, as well as over 50 per cent of the natural gas used to generate electricity, make fertiliser, create CNG for car fuel, and supply cooking gas to homes, the report said. 

To reduce the $115 billion import bill, the government has been pressuring state-owned firms to step up efforts to increase domestic output, the report added. 

Because its fields are old and ageing, ONGC has recorded a steady reduction in output for more than ten years. But, the company has now pulled itself together and is working on a holistic asset base plan rather than a field-centric approach.

Kumar said that Bassein and Satellite asset has several fields including the prime Bassein gas field, D1 and Tapti-Daman. These currently produce 55,000-56,000 barrels per day (2.8 million tonnes) of oil and 28 million standard cubic metres per day of gas.

“We have done a reservoir profiling for the entire asset to plan the drilling campaign,” he said. 

The fourth phase of the redevelopment of Mumbai High is almost complete and the next phase is at the implementation stage while the sixth is at conceptualisation, ONGC official added.