Pratim Ranjan Bose

Kolkata, Dec. 23

ONGC has drawn up a Rs 800-crore investment plan to double crude oil production in Assam to 2.4 million tonnes in three years. Production from India's oldest oil producing region has been a little over one million tonnes during the last few years.

According to available information, the unsatisfactory performance is set to be repeated in 2005-06 as Assam's production is expected to drop to around 1.2 million tonnes, well below the targeted level. Among the reasons cited are a 100-hour strike and drop in offtake by refineries in July.

ONGC sources confirmed that the company's operations in the State are now highly non-remunerative. Assam contributes merely five per cent of ONGC's turnover at the expense of employing approximately 20 per cent of the manpower.

The three existing fields of Geleki, Lakwa, and Tipams are in need of immediate investments in technology.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 24, 2005)
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