The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ONGC gears up for deep-water oil hunt

Calcutta, Nov. 20: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is gearing up to dig its first off-shore well under the Sagar Samriddhi project in the Gulf of Kutch on November 30. This project, which will continue till 2020, is the biggest ever deep-water exploration effort by a single operator.

The well will be dug at a depth of 1,862 metre for which the company has already brought a technology-intensive drill ship, Belford Dolphin, which is capable of drilling up to 3000 metre.

ONGC will invest roughly Rs 3.75 crore every day for the implementation of the project.

ONGC chairman Subir Raha said, “Thirty years ago, the company’s initiative in acquiring Sagar Samrat had opened up an era of hydrocarbon prosperity. Sagar Samriddhi will renew the era for the country.”

The country’s largest profit making company has budgeted for 47 deep-water exploratory wells on both east and west coasts of India.

The director general of hydrocarbons has estimated a reserve of 11 billion tonnes of oil and oil equivalent (BTOE) in India’s deep water basins.

A senior ONGC executive said in over 45 years of exploration in India, the company has established reserves of nearly 6 BTOE onshore and in shallow waters.

“Out of these initial in-place reserves, only 2 BTOE is recoverable. Around 0.9 BTOE has already been produced and as of now, ONGC holds 1:1 BTOE proven recoverable reserves in the domestic assets,” he said.

The company has, however, set a strategic goal of doubling the reserves from 6 BTOE to 12 BTOE by 2020. Of this 6 BTOE, four will come from deep waters and two will come from onshore and shallow waters, he said.

The strategic goal of accretion of 4 BTOE reserves in deep waters off India should lead to the establishment of recoverable reserves to the order of 1 BTOE considering a conservative 25 per cent recovery factor.

At the price of $20 per barrel, the targeted recoverable reserves are valued at $140 billion in the next two decades, sources said.

To begin with, ONGC is deploying three drill ships for the project. Sagar Vijay, owned by ONGC will be deployed at a water depth of 900 metres. Discoverer Seven Seas, contracted from TransOcean Sedco Forex, will operate at a depth of 1,800 metres and Bedford Dolphin, chartered from Bedford Drilling, will drill to water depths beyond 1,800 metres.

ONGC has set a target of achieving over 30 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent per year by the end of the Eleventh Plan, equalling the current domestic production from onshore and shallow waters.

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