State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said on Wednesday that it has intensified its efforts to increase domestic oil and gas production to offset the natural decline in output for the last five years that has set in its existing oil and gas fields including the prestigious Mumbai High.
Notifying seven new oil and gas discoveries by ONGC in the last six months, ONGC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said the company is investing over Rs 50,000 crore (around $10 billion) in developing new oil and gas fields and increasing output from existing ones. Of this amount, over Rs 16,000 crore is being invested to improve output from seven fields, Sharma said.
ONGC has invested over Rs 14,000 crore since 2000 for improving the oil recovery from its ageing fields including mature fields like Mumbai High. “ONGC is investing more than Rs 15,000 crore in the second phase of redevelopment of its prime Mumbai High fields in the western offshore. It is investing Rs 8,061 crore,” he said. ONGC has so far made 117 oil and gas discoveries since 2003.
Sharing the envisaged growth in its crude oil and gas production, Sharma said, “By 2012-13, ONGC’s crude oil production will go up to 29 million tonnes while its natural gas production would peak up to 72 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (mmscmd).” The existing crude oil production is 25.4 million tonnes while that of gas is about 62 mmscmd.
Sharma said he expects the crude oil prices to firm up in the coming months. “I cannot say when the crud oil prices would touch $100 a barrel but what I can say is that I expect the crude oil prices to move up steadily in the coming months.”
Rise in crude oil prices would result in higher realisations from crude sales for oil exploration firms. In the international oil market, price of crude oil (light sweet crude variety) rose by $1.84 a barrel, or 2.64 per cent to $71.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on Tuesday after the dollar declined and US stocks advanced.