A proposal being considered by the oil ministryto privatise 11 prime fields of state-run ONGC will strip the company of its family silver and saddle India’s flagship explorer with mature blocks nearing the end of their productive lives. It will also result in new prospects that will need huge investments to develop.
The proposal — inspired by case studies from Nigeria, Mexico, Iraq and Egypt — has demoralised ONGC’s technical and scientific officers who have, through their association, appealed to the PM to stop the move. All serving and former executives TOI spoke to rejected these examples, saying discoveries in those countries were made by foreign companies.
In contrast, ONGC made the discoveries and started production from “just parcels of land” the government had given to it — when ONGC was a commission and not corporation — for exploration when no foreign explorer would look at India. Known as ‘nomination fields’, these account for 69% of India’s crude and 75% of gas output. Read More…
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