Mangalore, May 15: ONGC Videsh (OVL) believes at least 10 million tonnes of crude should pour in over the next four years from foreign fields in which it holds equity.
An investment of over Rs 15,000 crore is planned in the eight countries where it has oil-fields. Petroleum minister Ram Naik, who was here to preside over the arrival of oil from the Sudanese field partly owned by ONGC, said the country would reduce import dependence to a great extent over the next 20 years. “We decided to invest abroad to increase our own access to oil and that is now paying off within three months,” Naik said after receiving 80,000 tonnes of crude.
Later, deputy Prime Minister . K. Advani underscored the need for greater oil security, saying it was as important as the task of fortifying the country’s borders.
ONGC chairman Subir Raha, whose company is the parent of ONGC Videsh, said plans have been drawn up to invest in Kazakhstan and Latin American oil-fields, in addition to the countries where it already has oil assets. “We are also looking at investing in a country closer to home. We will name it once the deal is done.” OVL will bring in 20 million tonnes of crude from its foreign fields, before 2020.
Talking about exploration, Raha said ONGC would sink in more funds in the Sunderbans and Contai regions of Bengal basin, an area whose seismic data is under study. Drilling in Sunderbans offshore project should start this winter, work in Contai is expected to kick off over the next couple of months.