India’s Ministry of Petroleum has directed the country’s largest oil and gas producer, ONGC, to sell stake in producing oil fields such as to Ratna R-Series to private firms, get foreign partners in KG basin gas fields, monetise existing infrastructure, and hive off drilling and other services into a separate firm to raise production.
Amar Nath, additional secretary (exploration) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, on April 1 wrote to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Chairman and Managing Director Subhash Kumar giving a seven-point action plan, ‘ONGC Way Forward’ that would help the firm raise oil and gas production by one-third by 2023-24.
The action plan calls on ONGC to consider sale of stake in maturing fields such as Panna-Mukta and Ratna and R-Series in western offshore and onshore fields like Gandhar in Gujarat to private firms while divesting/privatising ‘non-performing’ marginal fields.
It wanted ONGC to bring in global players in gas-rich block KG-DWN-98/2 where output is slated to rise sharply by next year, and the recently brought into production Ashokenagar block in West Bengal. Also identified for the purpose is the Deendayal block in the KG basin which the firm had bought from Gujarat government firm GSPC a couple of years back.
The ministry also wants the company to explore creating separate entities for drilling, well services, logging, workover services and data processing entities.