Pradhan tells ONGC to offer marginal fields

Vol 18, PW 3 (25 Sep 14) News in Brief

ONGC chairman DK Sarraf tells this report the oil ministry wants it to fast-track the offer of marginal fields to the private sector.

Last month (August) oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan chaired a meeting, also attended by DGH officials, during which ONGC made a presentation on the status of its marginal fields. "We prepared our marginal fields policy two or three months ago," says Sarraf.

"But it’s yet to be approved by the ministry." ONGC is finalising a list of marginal fields to offer for bidding to companies interested in developing them on service contracts.

ONGC has 165 marginal fields: 79 offshore and 86 onshore. "Many companies are interested in ONGC's marginal fields as there is no exploration risk in operating them," adds a private sector operator.

Most bidders expect ONGC to offer higher prices for oil produced in addition to gas marketing freedom. In the past bidders were deterred by ONGC’s low maximum return of only $35/barrel.