NEW DELHI: ONGC plans to nearly double natural gas production in four years as it invests billions of dollars to produce from newer discoveries, the state-owned firm’s chairman Shashi Shanker said.
India’s biggest oil and gas producer is investing Rs 92,000 crore in 35 major projects which include 14 to bring new finds to production and six to improve recovery from the ageing fields.
“We have almost 70 per cent of oil production coming from mature fields. My primary challenge is to step up production,” said Shanker, who took over as the Chairman of Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) last month.
Plans on the table would help raise crude oil production from 22.25 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 27 MT by 2021-22, he said.
Natural gas output is envisaged to rise from 22 billion cubic meters (60 million standard cubic meters per day) to 42 bcm (115 mmscmd) in FY’22, he said.
ONGC’s roadmap to raise output comes two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the target for reducing oil import dependence by 10 per cent, from 77 per cent in 2013-14.
India spend almost $1 trillion on crude imports from financial year 2005-06 to 2015-16.
The company’s oil production will rise to 23 MT in the current fiscal and to 23.6 MT in 2018-19, 24.3 MT in 2019-20, 26.4 MT in 2020-21 and 27 MT in 2021-22.
Shanker said ONGC is investing over $5 billion in developing oil and gas discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin block KG-DWN-98/2, which sits next to Reliance Industries’ flagging KG-D6 fields.
“The challenges facing ONGC, as I see, include finding out ways to increase domestic production, delivering projects under implementation on time and attrition,” he said.
Also, natural gas pricing is a challenge as the current rate of $2.89 per million British thermal unit is way below $4.5 needed to cover for cost and provide a reasonable return, he said.
“We have made representations to the government (on the issue). We are optimistic something will happen on this front,” he said.
As on October 1, 2016, ONGC had 577 hydrocarbon discoveries. Most of them were either in production or action had been initiated to monetise them.
The roadmap for increasing output addresses monetisation plan of all the discoveries of ONGC, barring about 42 finds which are isolated/far from existing infrastructure, or have very low volumes or are located in difficult areas.