ONGC is to explore shale gas in the Cambay Basin in Gujarat. It will spend nearly Rs 150-200 crore to drill the first set of wells starting next month, N.K. Verma, Director (Exploration) of the country’s largest explorer, said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Government unveiled a policy allowing ONGC and Oil India to explore shale gas in the blocks they own. The companies will have to apply for grant of shale gas and oil rights and undertake a mandatory minimum work programme.

Verma said they were in discussion with American energy company ConocoPhillips, while taking steps to explore shale gas.

The public sector explorer would spread its shale gas exploration programme across several blocks located in the Cambay Basin.

Meanwhile, the public sector explorer hopes that its natural gas production to go up more than 100 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) from about 65 mmscmd at present, said ONGC Group Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva.

ONGC’s gas fields in the western offshore, known as C-series, has more resources than anticipated earlier. “The C-series field, which is a 3 mmscmd field, will become 13 mmscmd,” Vasudeva said.

ONGC Videsh funding

ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas subsidiary of the public sector explorer ONGC, would raise $4 billion through bonds and loans in the international market to part fund its two recent acquisitions in Mozambique, said OVL Chairman Sudhir Vasudeva.

In August, OVL bought 10 per cent in an oil field from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in Mozambique for $2.64 billion. In June, OVL along with OIL sealed another deal to take over a 10 per cent stake in an offshore gas field from Videocon Industries in the African nation. Of the total fund raising target, the company would raise $1.5 billion through a bridge or short-term loan by November. The process to invite bids from banks would start by Monday, said Director (Finance) S.P. Garg.

Siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 25, 2013)
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