Deep water exploration: ONGC-Exxon talks on Cauvery Basin advance further

Kuwar SinghRicha Mishra | | Updated on: Mar 09, 2021
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ONGC Ltd-ExxonMobil has entered the second phase of discussions for exploration and development of deep water basins such as Cauvery.

“The kind of engagement we have with Exxon is in niche areas like deep water exploration where they have expertise. We had shared a few exploration areas and exchanged data with them after the first phase of discussions,” a senior official told BusinessLine .

“We would like to leverage their technical expertise in deep water exploration and development in areas like Cauvery,” the official explained.

ONGC had signed an MoU with the American oil and gas giant in October 2019 to undertake joint technical studies and cooperate in frontier areas like deep water and other Petroleum Exploration Licence blocks of ONGC in east and west coast and open acreages for joint bidding. The MoU was to be taken forward in three phases.

In fact, India has been wooing the American giant for some time now. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier this month said talks are on with the American majors for investment in the Indian market.

A major hindrance has been data sharing, as these larger explorers have newer technology to study data, based on which they take their investment risks.

Last year at the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, the then US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette had said that the US and India are re-looking their laws to deepen the energy partnership between the two countries.

“I think energy is one of the building blocks of the relationship (between India and the US). We work closely with them on things like nuclear technologies for instance on the military side. We have a great relationship there,” he had said.

Hydrocarbon potential

Cauvery Basin is situated at the south-eastern edge of the Indian landmass, sprawls over an area of about 1,50,000 (onland 25000 and offshore 125000

The hydrocarbon potential of the Cauvery Basin was initially investigated onshore in the late 1950s by the ONGC, and the first geophysical surveys were carried out in 1959-60.

Published on March 09, 2021

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