The new chief of country's largest profit making firm - the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) - Sudhir Vasudeva, said on Tuesday development of new oil and gas fields will be put on the fast-track to raise the company's sagging output and help regain its status as the world's numero uno oil explorer.
Vasudeva, who was appointed chairman and managing director of ONGC on Monday, said the new and marginal fields can help raise crude oil production by about 15% to 28 million tonnes by 2013.
ONGC, which has been without a full-time chairman for over eight months, will see natural gas production rise to 100 million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD), or 36.5 billion cubic metres (BCM) per year, by 2016-17 from the current 62 mmscmd, or 26 bcm per annum, he said.
In his first media interaction after taking over the new job, Vasudeva, 57, rued that ONGC has lost the position of the world's number one E&P company in Platts' global rankings and the nation's most valuable company because of a drop in production.
"My first focus will be the core activity of exploration. We will leave no stone unturned in revisiting the exploration strategy," he said.
ONGC plans to invest Rs 26,000 crore in developing 34 small and marginal fields, which will yield some 5 million tonnes of crude oil. "After accounting for the natural decline that has set in ageing and old fields, we will be able to touch 28 million tonnes (per annum) by 2013-14," he said.
The company currently produces about 24.5 million tonnes of oil per annum.
On natural gas, he was more optimistic, as he believed fields in the Daman formation off the West Coast can alone yield 15 mmscmd. Also, gas discoveries in ONGC's KG-D5 block, which sits next to Reliance Industries' prolific KG-D6 gas fields in the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the East Coast, can produce 25-30 mmscmd.
Vasudeva, who has risen from the ranks since joining ONGC in 1976, said the company will prepare a long-term perspective plan, say 15-20 years, that will lay out the roadmap for the company not just in the hydrocarbon sector, but also in alternate energies and nuclear power.