ONGC must scale up exploration activities: Ministry

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 25, 2021

As India tries to raise domestic oil and gas production and reduce reliance on imports, ONGC Ltd will need to expand exploration activities alongside the government push to get international investment in the upstream industry, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary Tarun Kapoor said on Thursday.

“We have to expand our total investment in the upstream sector. We are working towards expanding the acreage. More area should go into exploration,” he said at an event organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “More money has to be spent on exploration. Large companies like ONGC have to now get into exploration in a very big way.”

India needs to attract international majors with expertise in deep-sea and ultra-deep-sea exploration, Kapoor said.

“A lot of our potential is in deep-sea and ultradeep-sea where not much experience is available. Some areas that have been identified recently would be the deepest in the world if we work on them,” he said.

To boost private sector investment in the upstream sector, the government is considering the prospect of common infrastructure. “We also need some common infrastructure. In some places, particularly on the offshore side, it has been seen that a single company may not be able to build the kind of infrastructure that is required,” Kapoor said.

The government will also hire agencies to analyse the data collected in the recently completed survey of all the onshore blocks and provide this information to international companies, the secretary said.

“In some cases, some tax reform may also be required,” he added.

Published on March 25, 2021

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