Deep adds ONGC block to its big CBM portfolio

Vol 18, PW 24 (30 Jul 15) Exploration & Production

BSE-listed Deep Industries has added another CBM block to its stable through subsidiary Prabha Energy.

Deep operates the Singrauli block in Madhya Pradesh and the Godavari block in Andhra Pradesh; it also has a block in Indonesia. But now subsidiary Prabha is set to become operator of ONGC's NK-CBM-2001/1 or North Karanpura CBM block in Jharkhand.

In June ONGC's Board approved the Prabha farm-in under which it will take 25% of ONGC's 80% and assume the role of operator. "All in house approvals to form the JV with Prabha Energy are in place," confirms an ONGC source in Delhi.

"The proposal was sent to the oil ministry for approval last month (July)." After oil ministry approval, ONGC's stake will reduce to 55%, Prabha will hold 25% and IOC will hold the remaining 20%. In July, ONGC learned that the state cabinet in Ranchi had approved the Mining Lease for North Karanpura.

This kicks off the five-year development phase. "The countdown begins," says ONGC, "We get only a seven-year tax holiday.

We cannot afford to waste time." ONGC says it is at an advanced stage of securing environment, pollution and other mandatory clearances. According to DGH estimates, North Karanpura has a CBM resource potential of 2.18-tcf (61.74-bcm).

Deep chairman Paras Savla and CEO Prem Sawhney did not respond to calls and text messages from this report.