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(Drillship- Edited Image Courtesy: ONGC's KG-DWN-98/2 EIA  Report)
 
In January this year, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said it was “responding emphatically to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative” (MI3). The Company claimed this while announcing its energy R&D tie-up with seven Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).
What ONGC did not disclose was that it is fast-tracking certain projects to ramp up substantially oil and gas production, thereby giving a leg-up to MI3. 
ONGC had earned bad name for numerous project cost and time overruns over the years. This led to Government-forced privatization of its several discoveries in the nineties, triggering a scam. This public enterprise is lately shedding its elephantine inertia in the domain of project planning & execution. It is doing this with the prodding from NDA Government as well as with a bit of self-realization. 
Among the major projects being pursued by ONGC, the most prominent one is Rs 50,358-crore project for development of offshore KG-DWN-98/2 block in Krishna Godavari (KG) basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh (AP).
It has squeezed the time gap between grant of terms of reference (TOR) for environment impact study (EIA) on this project (dated 6th January) to filing post-public hearing request for grant of environmental clearance(9th April) to three months! This is perhaps shortest gestation period of its type for any project in any sector. 
Another project that is being fast-tracked is monetization of Tapti Daman Block in Mumbai Offshore coupled with modification of Hazira Gas Processing Complex (HGPC). Yet another project in this category is the monetization of hydrocarbons in the onshore Gamij Field in the Ahmedabad Asset.
The project for developing northern cluster of KG-DWN-98/2 block envisages production of 51.33 billion cubic metres (BCM) of gas over 16 years beginning 2018 and 26.71 million metric cubic metres (MMm3) of crude oil over 12 years beginning 2019.
As put by ONGC in its EIA report on the Project, “This will help in moving toward achieving self-sufficiency in energy sector and also saving a huge foreign exchange reserve of the country. This will also help in propelling the growth of local Industry thus improving the local population wellbeing and significantly contributing to the economy of society by creating indirect employment.”
The project provides for drilling of 45 development wells. It also envisages setting up Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO), fixed platform and allied infrastructure. As the block is located in deep and ultra-deep water, ONGC intends to utilize a drill ship with Dynamic Positioning (DP) and specialized deep water technology tools for drilling.
The KG-DWN-98/2 block is located within 25-80 km from the nearest coastline. ONGC acquired 90% stake in this NELP-I block from Cairn Energy (India) Limited (CEIL) in March 2005 and later acquired the balance 10% stake too. 
CEIL drilled six exploratory wells. After acquiring the operatorship, ONGC has drilled the remaining 14 exploratory wells as envisaged under the product sharing contract. Subsequently, ONGC secured green nod to drill 10 more such wells. 
In May 2013, ONGC had formally notified to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas about commercial discovery of hydrocarbons in this block. 
In addition to KG-DWN-98/2 block, ONGC is working on is the monetization of hydrocarbons from two other KG offshore prospects, Vashishta and S-1. It is targeting production of 15.8 BCM from both the fields over a period of nine years with a peak gas rate of 5.75 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metres per day) for a period of first five years. The cost of integrated development of Vashishta and S1 deepwater assets is estimated at a cost of Rs 4124.30 crore. It is likely to go on stream in 2017.
The commercial operation of both these projects hinges on an onshore hydrocarbons processing terminal that is being expanded at Odalarevu in Kakinada district of AP. The expansion project, slated for completion in December 2016, would facilitate processing of additional production of hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, ONGC is trying to secure approvals for a dual sub-sea pipeline that would be hooked to the terminal.  
ONGC recently received green nod to increase the number of proposed development wells in Gamji Field to 406 from the originally proposed and approved 138. 
Armed with updated reservoir data, ONGC told the Ministry of Environment and Forest in November 2014: “Owing to this updation, Gamji Field which has excellent potential needs to be monetized at the earliest in the interest of the nation.”
As for Daman Development Project, ONGC is pursuing a slew of projects to monetize gas locked several marginal fields in Tapti Daman Block and adjoining areas such as NELP-MB-OSN2005/1. 
The gas from Cluster-24 and Cluster-26 of Tapti block can be monetized early if the Government expedites transfer of idle Tapti Compression and Processing Platform (TCPP) and associated facilities from tripartite Panna Mukta Tapti joint venture (in which ONGC has 40% stake) to ONGC at zero cost. 
As put by project feasibility report on HGPC modification project, “In case the processing facilities at TPP/ TCPP and pipelines from TCPP / TPP to SBHT (South Bassein Hazira turnk) line are transferred to ONGC by the Govt., it may be possible that gas produced from C-26 cluster project will be evacuated using TCPP facilities in 2015-16 themselves even in case of delay / non availability of MOPU (mobile offshore production unit). Further gas production from C- Series and Daman Development C-24 (additional) and B-12 fields may commence by 2016-17.”
It adds: “The Gas initial in place of ONGC fields in nomination blocks in Tapti Daman Block, as on 01.04.2014, are 152.6 BCM (66.72 BCM in Proved Category, 36.54 BCM in Probable Category and 49.33 BCM in Possible Category).”
In addition to tapping of gas from C series assets of Tapti Daman Block, ONGC is eying production of about 10 MMSCMD from five other adjoining assets that include NELP-MB-OSN2005/1 and B-12-17 by 2020. 
With this perspective in view, ONGC is acquiring land in Palghar district of Maharashtra for setting up new onshore terminal for processing gas from Tapti Daman block. 
The company has also chalked out a Rs 5400-crore programme to drill 18 deep and ultra-deep exploratory wells in six blocks of Andaman offshore. 
 
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