The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ONGC to invest $ 200 million in 16 oil blocks

Calcutta, Sept. 22: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has decided to invest $ 200 million in the first phase of development in the 16 oil and gas blocks awarded to it under the second round of the new exploration licensing policy (NELP).

Company sources said the investment programme has already been chalked out for all the 16 blocks. The initial investment will be completed over a period of three to four years. The total investment in the three-phased exploration and development of the 16 blocks, however, would be $ 450 million. Besides, ONGC has already begun implementation of the $ 110-million phase-I exploration programme for the eight blocks awarded to it under NELP-I, they said. ONGC’s 2002-03 exploration budget is about Rs 2,000 crore, they said, adding production from the blocks may begin as early as 2005.

Chairman Subir Raha said the company is expecting a 15-20 per cent growth over the current production of gas and oil that stands at 50 million tonnes over the next five years. Of this, ONGC Videsh, through which the company is picking up oil equity globally, is expected to contribute 10 million tonnes. Raha said the joint venture in Vietnam will go onstream at the end of this year while the first crude is expected to come up from the Sakhalin field in 2005.

He said the company has obtained a 10 per cent stake in a gas block in the US and a 49 per cent stake in two blocks in Libya. It also has a sizeable stake in block A-I in Myanmar. The company is also trying for a block in Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.

The first phase of exploration in NELP-II blocks, involving 3D and 2D seismic data acquisition, processing of data, interpretation and prospect generation, has already begun, sources said. ONGC has planned an investment of about Rs 46,000 crore during the Tenth Plan (2002-07), out of which about Rs 13,000 crore investment is planned in oil equity abroad.

PTI adds: ONGC has applied to the government to sell liquefied petroleum gas directly to consumers as oil marketing firms were not lifting the quantities. “We lost 15,000 tonnes of LPG this fiscal as Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL have refused to lift the committed quantities,” Raha said.

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