ONGC to invest USD 2 bn in Mumbai offshore

ONGC will invest over USD 2bn 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 has said.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has three main assets off the west coast – Mumbai High, Heera and Neelam, and Bassein and Satellite, which contributed the bulk of 21.7 million tonnes of oil and 21.68 billion cubic metres of gas it produced in 2021-22.

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

India imports over 85% of the crude oil, which is converted into fuel such as petrol and diesel in refineries, and roughly half of the natural gas that is used to produce electricity, make fertiliser, 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 115bn import bill.

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

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