In what may help India’s energy security efforts, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas plans to minimise the gestation period for hydrocarbon exploration. Gestation period is the time taken from the discovery of hydrocarbons in a block to its commercial production. “On average, a discovery has a gestation period of at least a year if not more,” said a top Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) executive requesting anonymity. According to the website of the Directorate General of Hyrdocarbons, 225 hydrocarbon discoveries have been made in the last five years till January 2016.
“In order to fasten the process between discovery and production, we are trying to bring in new technologies. This will not only reduce manpower needed but will also bring down the gestation period significantly as well,” said a petroleum ministry official requesting anonymity.
India is grappling with falling domestic production of hydrocarbons. The government has made energy security one of its primary focus areas in order to achieve fast and sustainable long-term development. The government has also set up an ambitious target to halve the country’s energy imports by 2030. Another official from the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, requesting anonymity, said, “A lot of projects get delayed due to long gestation periods. We hope to minimise it in the future.” India has 26 sedimentary basins covering an area of 3.14 million sq. km. out of which 7 basins have established commercial productions in progress. India has total reserves of 763.476 million tonne of crude oil and 1,488.73 billion cu. metres of natural gas.
According to experts, once a discovery is made it involves long procedures before the field actually gets operationalised adding cost for explorers.
“Gestation periods are taken into consideration while going for exploration. However, the lesser the time taken, the better,” said Dilip Khanna, partner at EY, a consultancy. Queries emailed to the spokespersons of the petroleum ministry and ONGC on 11 November remained unanswered. According to BP Global data, India has emerged as the third largest consumer of crude oil with a consumption of 4.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) for calendar year 2015, after the US (19.39 mbpd) and China (11.96 mbpd). Jermey Parnell Womens JerseyShare This