• ONGC Videsh to pump $150 million in Colombia, Kazakhstan & Bangladesh

    ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp, plans to invest $150 million in exploration this fiscal year to drill more wells in Colombia, where it just made a commercial discovery, as well as in Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.

    ONGC Videsh, which operates the CPO-5 block of Colombia, has made a commercial discovery in its exploration well Mariposa-1, managing director Narendra Verma has said. The company is now drawing up plans for the development of the Mariposa-1well that has begun a test production of 4,500 barrels per day, he said. The success has also opened opportunity for further exploration in the block.

    “To chase this lead, we plan to drill two more wells,” Verma said. ONGC has 70% participating interest in CPO-5 block in which the remaing 30% stake in held by Amerisur Resources of UK. ONGC has participating interest in a total of six blocks in Colombia. This includes a producing block whose current output is 35,000 barrels per day.

    ONGC has also accelerated its exploratory efforts in Kazakhstan and Bangladesh. Drilling has begun in the Kazakhstan block in the Caspian Sea while preparations are on to drill the first well in Bangladesh. “We are hopeful Kazakhstan drilling will end up in success,” Verma said. In all, the exploratory effort would require $150 million of investment this year, Verma said.

    ONGC Videsh plans to make a total capital spending of $1 billion in 2017-18 in exploration, development and production across all its projects. ONGC Videsh’s production jumped 40% in 2016-17 mainly on 26% stake acquisition in Russia’s prolific Vankor fields.

    The output is expected to rise further 15% in the current fiscal year to 14.35 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe). “We are actively working towards meeting our target of 20 mtoe by 2020,” said Verma. The company has also entered Namibia’s oil and gas sector with a purchase of 30% interest from Tullow Oil in the African country’s three oil blocks.

    ONGC Videsh’s investment in the Imperial fields of Russia will likely get some production boost after an associated gas processing plant comes up. The tender for the plant has been awarded and it would be ready in about 18 months, Verma said. This would help push up oil production from the field by 4000 barrels/day from the current 7000 barrels/day.  Gerald Green Jersey

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