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ONGC to commence gas production from K-G `digital' fields by April 2006

Our Bureau

Kolkata , May 27

ONGC will start producing gas from G1 and GS 15 `digital' fields in the Krishna Godavari basin by April 2006.

The total production from the two fields is pegged at two million standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd). The wells are scheduled to produce oil at a later stage.

A `digital' oil field incorporates remotely-monitored and controlled `smart' wells.

The ONGC Chairman, Mr Subir Raha, said here on Friday that the company was developing five production wells in the deep-sea G-1 structure, which is located 28 km offshore, in depths ranging from 135 to 500 meters.

Development of GS-15, a shallow-water field lying 5 km offshore, has been integrated into the project.

The peak oil gain from the two fields is expected to be around 9400 barrels per day (bpd) and a gas production of 2.7 mmscmd.

Described as the country's first digital oil fields, the total investment in the project is estimated to be Rs 1,300 crore.

As regards the Bassein gas field, Mr Raha said the company was considering investment plans for further development of the ageing field. Asked whether the company would seek a higher price for additional production from Bassein, he said, "I believe the group of Ministers has recommended use of commercial gas pricing formula for any additional production from pre-NELP blocks."

On ONGC's interests in Iran, he said that ONGC Videsh (OVL) was interested in picking up 20 per cent stake in the Pars LNG Production Company. The stake was abandoned by Petronas of Malaysia.

Being commissioned at an estimated investment of $ 2 billion, Pars LNG will convert gas produced from phase 11 of the giant South Pars offshore gas field into LNG.

The company was promoted jointly by the National Iranian Oil Co (NICO), Total of France and Petronas of Malaysia. NICO holds 50 per cent stake in the project followed by 30 per cent of Total.

On equity oil stake, Mr Raha said that OVL would shortly enter into an agreement with NICO. OVL has already entered into an MoU with NICO for participation in the Yadavaran and Jufeyr fields in Iran through service contracts.

It is learnt that the company has expressed an interest in picking up a 20 per cent stake in both the fields, which is equivalent to 60,000 barrels a day in Yadavaran and around 30,000 barrels in Jufeyr.

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