Bombay High production continues to fall

Vol 4, PW 15 (30 Aug 00) People & Policy

No doubting that ONGC is under pressure to increase production at the Bombay High.

On 21st August junior oil minister Etienne Ponnuswamy confirmed to India's upper house what many have long suspected: annual crude oil production at the ageing oilfieldhas declined for three successive years. Ponnuswamy released the following figures.

Year Production @1 tonne/7.5 barrels (approx) 1997-98 12.43m tonnes (255,000 b/d) 1998-99 11.58m tonnes (238,000 b/d) 1999-00 10.15m tonnes (208,000 b/d) (Source: Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas Etienne Ponnuswamy in a written reply to parliament on 21st August) Ponnuswamy said an 'action plan' has been prepared to improve the performance of the field and hinted at some of the measures that ONGC would employ to reverse the trend. These include: the "drilling of in-fill wells to exploit passed or undrained parts of the field." Elsewhere there is good news for ONGC, with the release of figures showing that crude oil production in July was marginally higher than production in June and the two months before (see below).

This trend is likely to continue. Petrowatch learns ONGC is cautiously optimistic that it can raise production by an incremental 600,000 tonnes (4.5m barrels) by the end of this financial year.

Gas production for June, meanwhile, showed a marginal increase over May, while refinery throughput, though more than the May figure, dropped short of a 9.17m tonnes target set by the government. April, 2000 May, 2000 June 2,000 July, 2000 Oil production 2.566m tonnes (641,000b/d) 2.712m tonnes (678,000b/d) 2.704m tonnes (676,000b/d) 2.77m tonnes (692,000b/d) Gas production 2.425bn cubic metres 2.295bn cubic metres 2.41bn cubic metres (Not Available) Refinery throughput 8.017m tonnes (2.004m b/d) 8.29m tonnes (2.072m b/d) (Not Available) 8.74m tonnes (2.185m b/d) (Source: Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas)