Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 12, 2006
Industry & Economy
ONGC submits report on discoveries
Pratim Ranjan Bose
Kolkata , Jan. 11
ONGC has submitted a detailed report on its discoveries to the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The report has contested claims that ONGC had a lower success rate in oil and gas exploration compared to its private competitors.
It may be mentioned that on September 21, 2005, the date of ONGC's AGM, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) came out with a report card on oil and gas exploration in the country for 2004-05.
The DGH, in its report, had said that ONGC could not make a single discovery during the last fiscal, despite investing $415.58 million (Rs 1,822.64 crore) on drilling in nine wells.
Sources in ONGC told Business Line that in the report submitted to the Ministry, the company has contested the yardstick used by DGH for defining a `discovery'.
"In ONGC, we differentiate between strikes, finds and discoveries.
"We announce a discovery only when we assess its production potential as commercially viable.
"This is in sharp contrast to the parameters used by DGH, by which, wherever there is a find, even of a particular field or block, it can be termed as another discovery," a senior company official said pointing to one of its competitors, who according to DGH had struck a series of `discoveries' in a particular field.
Refuting claims of poor track record of the company in exploring oil and gas, the official said that in last five years ONGC had struck hydrocarbon reserves in over 140 exploration wells.
"Of this, 115 were announced as discoveries. Sixty per cent of these discoveries has already been brought into production, and the remaining 40 per cent under various stages of development."
The records available with DGH do not match with ONGC's claims.
According to information available from the DGH Web site, ONGC has made 20 "significant discoveries", including 10 in off-shore and 10 onshore, in the last four years.
OIL has made five onshore discoveries, taking the total number of discoveries for PSUs to 25.
According to DGH, "private companies and joint ventures have made 32 significant hydrocarbon discoveries, both in the NELP and pre-NELP blocks."
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