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ONGC seeks partners to raise production from 43 oil, gas fields

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Thursday invited bids from private companies for handing over operations of 43 small and marginal oil and gas fields with a view to raising production.

The 43 onland fields have been clustered into 11 contract areas that will be bid out to companies offering the highest oil and gas output on top of a pre-decided baseline, the company said in a statement.

ONGC had in June 2019 invited similar bids for 64 fields that were clustered into 17 contract areas. The bid round did not evoke much interest and failed.

“ONGC announces Notice Inviting Offer (NIO) seeking partners for enhancement of production from its marginal nomination fields in line with its goal of maximizing recovery from its producing fields,” the statement said.

The fields on offer have a total in-place oil and oil equivalent gas volume of about 160 million tonne.

“These contract areas are spread across the states of Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh,” it said.

The 64 fields offered in 2019 held a cumulative 300 million tonne of oil and oil equivalent natural gas reserves.

The oil ministry has been unhappy with the near stagnant oil and gas production and believes giving out the discovered fields to private firms would help raise output as they can bring in technology and capital.

It has been tasked by the Prime Minister to cut dependence on oil imports by 10 per cent by 2022 from the over 77 per cent dependence in 2014-15. But the dependence has only increased and is now over 83 per cent.

“Eligible companies (Indian or foreign), either alone or in consortium with other companies, may bid for one or more contract areas,” the statement said adding the bidders are required to fulfill the requisite technical and financial criteria.

The last date for bidding is December 3.

A pre-bid conference will be held on October 20, 2021.

“Bidders interested in studying the data can purchase field information docket and data packages. Upon request, the interested companies shall be able to access the data viewing facility at IRS, Ahmedabad and visit the fields, if required,” it said.

ONGC said operators will have complete marketing and pricing freedom to sell hydrocarbons on an arm’s length basis through competitive bidding.

“Partner will be selected on a revenue-sharing basis. The revenue will be shared on incremental production over and above the baseline production under business-as-usual (BAU) scenario,” it said.

The contract period will be for 15 years with an option to extend by 5 years.

“A reduction of 10 per cent in the royalty rate for incremental production of natural gas over and above BAU scenario” will be offered, it said.

Continuous exploration is permitted during the contract period including the right to explore all kinds of hydrocarbon.

Also, no past investment/ expenditure incurred by ONGC is to be shared or paid by the contractor.

While ease of entry/ exit will be provided, an incentive will also be given to enhance production beyond committed incremental production, ONGC added.
Source: Press Trust of India

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