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ONGC to invest USD 2 billion in Mumbai offshore to raise oil and gas output.

India's top oil and gas producer, ONGC, will invest over USD 2 billion in drilling a record 103 wells on its main gas-bearing asset in the Arabia Sea as it pivots a turnaround plan that will add 100 million tonnes to production, a company official said. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has three main assets off the west coast - Mumbai High, Heera and Neelam, Bassein, and Satellite, which contributed 21.7 million tonnes of oil and 21.68 billion cubic meters of gas produced in 2021-22.


"We have released a record 103 locations for drilling of wells on the Bassein and Satellite (B&S) assets over the next 2-3 years," ONGC Director (Offshore) it is said.


The wells will tap smaller and hereto untapped reservoirs and help raise output.


"We estimate that this development drilling will enhance production by over 100 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas over the life of the field," he said. "The investment in drilling and facilities will be over USD 2 billion."


ONGC produces two-thirds of all oil and gas produced in the country, and any incremental production would help the government cut its dependence on imports to meet energy needs.


India imports over 85 percent of the crude oil, converted into fuel such as petrol and diesel in refineries, and roughly half of the natural gas used to produce electricity, make fertilizer, converted into CNG for running automobiles, and piped to household kitchens for cooking.


The government has been pressing state-owned firms to step up efforts to raise domestic output to help cut the USD 115 billion import bill.


ONGC, which reported a gradual decline in output for over a decade primarily because its fields are old and ageing, has started working on a comprehensive asset base plan rather than a piecemeal field-centric approach.


He said B&S asset has several fields, including the prime Bassein gas field, D1, and Tapti-Daman. These currently produce 55,000-56,000 barrels per day (2.8 million tonnes) of oil and 28 million standard cubic metres per day of gas.


"We have done a reservoir profiling for the entire asset to planning the drilling campaign," he said; adding new wells will bring additional products to offset the natural decline in older wells and add to the overall output.


The Daman field alone is projected to contribute 6-7 mmscmd of more gas, while the Tapti field may see oil output almost doubling to 30,000 bpd.


 ONGC will adopt a similar approach to rejuvenate the other two assets in the western offshore.


The fourth phase of the redevelopment of Mumbai High, India's most prolific oil and gas field, is almost complete. He said the next step is at the implementation stage, while the sixth is at conceptualization.


ONGC is likely to see a reversal of production decline from the current fiscal. In the current fiscal year (2022-23), crude oil production is slated to rise to 22.823 million tonnes and gas to 22.099 bcm. In the following fiscal year, oil production will climb to 24.636 million tonnes, and 25.689 million tonnes in 2024-25.


Natural gas production is slated to rise to 25.685 bcm in 2023-24 and 27.529 bcm in the following year.