Govt eyes nominated fields to satisfy the increasing oil thirst

Govt eyes nominated fields to satisfy the increasing oil thirst

With no immediate big oil and gas discoveries in sight, the Centre is betting on the acreages given prior

to the licensing rounds to national oil companies — ONGC and Oil India Ltd — to satisfy a bit of the

country’s hydrocarbon appetite.

At present, nearly 70 per cent of the production comes from such fields, including Mumbai High

offshore. Almost 80 per cent of the country’s crude oil requirement is met through imports.

Consumption rising

“We have decided now to closely monitor nomination fields as well. You are aware that the

consumption is rapidly rising, but production has been largely stagnant.

If this continues, it will put pressure on the current account deficit even if oil prices are at $70 a barrel.

We can’t afford people sitting on assets,” said Atanu Chakraborty, Director-General, Directorate General

of Hydrocarbons.

Chakraborty, who previously headed Gujarat government’s GSPC, told BusinessLine: “We have limited

resources. This is the reason why we went ahead with the auction of small fields. They may be small, but

their potential is much larger than what we see.

“Actually, to bring the small fields into production is easier and quicker, as the capital expenditure

required is much lower.

“Big fields make news, but the production profile may not be as high as the capital expenditure. The

ultimate goal is to raise the country’s production.”

The DGH is in the process of collecting data on these fields spread mainly across the Cambay Basin,

Assam and Mumbai High. There are some in Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery Basins as well.

The DGH has taken its mandate from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious target of 10 per cent

import reduction by 2022.

Accelerated indigenous exploration efforts are required to meet these targets to feed the country’s

energy needs, Chakraborty added.

Meanwhile, the DGH is also reassessing all hydrocarbon reserves in the country. “This is part of another

programme. There is a lot of seismic data available. Now that technology is better, understanding

improves after a few wells are drilled. So, the idea now is to go back to the data and see that if we can

have a better assessment,” he said.

The reassessed data can put into the National Data Repository, he said, adding: “Essentially, we are

revisiting existing data. We are also gathering fresh data on about 50,000 sq km of land. There we are

trying to open up the Mesozoic layer. We are basically concentrating on the Saurashtra Peninsula, the

Deccan Plateau, Andamans and Bombay High.”

ONGC’s production from nomination fields in 2015-16 was 22.36 million tonnes compared with 22.26

million tonnes the previous fiscal.

According to information on the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas website, 17 nomination blocks

are currently operated by ONGC and Oil India. Of these, three are of Oil India, according to the

company’s website. nominated-fields- to-satisfy- the-

increasing-oil- thirst/article8721320.ece

Share Button