• ONGC plans exploratory drilling in 12 Gujarat blocks

    Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd plans to invest around 5 bln rupees on drilling 46 exploratory wells in 12 of its producing mining lease blocks in Gujarat in the Cambay basin, a senior company official told Cogencis. All the proposed wells would be drilled in areas falling in the Mehsana district. These 46 wells would be spread over an area of around 450 sq km.

    An exploratory well is a test well drilled to locate recoverable oil and gas reserves. If hydrocarbons are discovered through an exploratory well, it is followed by drilling of development wells to extract oil and gas. The depths of these 46 wells would vary between 2,000 mtr and 3,000 mtr and the duration of drilling is seen at three to four months per well, said the official, who did not wish to be named. ONGC expects to receive all government clearances for the project within a couple of months, following which it will start the work.

    The project is part of ONGC’s efforts to raise domestic oil and gas output in a bid to reduce dependence on imports. India is among the biggest consumers of crude oil but meets over 83% of its requirement through imports, leading to outflow of valuable foreign exchange. The government has been pushing upstream companies to increase exploration and production of hydrocarbons. ONGC, being the largest upstream company in the country, is at the centre of this effort. ONGC produces around 70% of the country’s crude oil and 60% of its natural gas.

    In this project, the blocks where drilling is planned are Jotana, Linch, Nandasan, North Shobhasan Extension, Jotana-Warason, Kadi, Linch Extension-1, Linch Extension-2, Mansa, Jakasana, East Shobhasan, and Bhalol Extension. ONGC owns 100% stake in all these blocks. ONGC has already drilled over 500 wells in the region, including many exploratory wells, and the hydrocarbon reserve data from these has been quite encouraging. The company feels that there is still a lot of scope in exploring new sub-surface structures in the basin, for which this project has been planned. At 1237 IST, shares of ONGC were 0.3% higher at 152.80 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.

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