CHENNAI: The government will auction off unmonetised large oil and gas fields of state-owned oil and gas exploration firms ONGC and OIL to boost the country’s hydrocarbon production, according to petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was speaking at the launch of the third round of auction of small discovered fields on Thursday.
Pradhan added that companies could not indefinitely sit on resources they may have discovered.
As many as 32 oil and gas blocks with 75 discoveries have been offered in the Discovered Small Field (DSF) round-III.
These small and marginal fields were discovered by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) but they were not economically viable to be developed due to the fiscal regime and their small size.
Under the DSF policy, liberal terms including pricing and marketing freedom are offered, making the fields under the programme viable.
“There will be no DSF next time. Next time, it will be a ‘major’ round (auction of large fields),” Pradhan said, adding that the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the oil ministry’s technical arm, has the “full mandate” to identify unmonetised major fields that could be offered for bidding.
“Resources don’t belong to a company. They belong to the nation and the government. They cannot lie with a company indefinitely. If somebody cannot monetise them, we will have to bring a new regime."
“This ‘chalti ka naam gaddi’ (something that is just barely working) attitude will now work. We have to take bold decisions,” he went on to say, “Idle, unmonetised resources, especially with state-owned companies, need to be monetised.”
Pradhan’s statement comes weeks after his ministry said India’s largest oil and gas producer ONGC to sell a stake in producing oil fields such as Ratna R-Series in western offshore to private firms and get foreign partners in KG basin gas fields.
AWEL completes appraisal of oil well
Adani Welspun Exploration said on Thursday that it has completed the appraisal-cum-development of the well in the B9 contract area of Tapti-Daman Sector, Mumbai Off shore.
“This block was won by AWEL under the Discovered Small Field round DSF-1. It may be noted that B-9 field was discovered earlier by ONGC and 3 wells were drilled out of which 2 produced approx. 10 million cubic feet gas per day during testing,” the company said in a filing.