More than half 98/2 block soon to be on offer

Vol 20, PW 22 (27 Jul 17) Exploration & Production

Good news for prospective explorers - a large chunk of ONGC's showcase KG-DWN-98/2 discovery block will soon be on offer under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP).

PETROWATCH learns ONGC decided to relinquish 4901-sq km of the total 7294.6-sq km area during a Management Committee (MC) meeting at the oil ministry on July 13. "This was on the agenda," confirms a ministry source.

"Now the (KG-DWN-98/2) development area will be just 2393.6-sq km. The relinquished area will be offered to bidders under OALP." Sanjay Kumar Jain, director in the ministry's exploration division, chaired the meeting, attended by DGH boss Atanu Chakraborty and ONGC officers from its eastern offshore asset at Kakinada.

During the meeting the ministry criticised the DGH for delaying approval of a Declaration of Commerciality (DoC), which finally came through on July 22, 2014. "Under the DST (Drill Stem Test) policy the DGH is required to approve the DoC within 150 days of submission," explains a source.

"But the ministry observed the DGH took 231 days." In turn the DGH blamed ONGC saying the delay was because it hadn't provided all relevant information. "ONGC had submitted the DoC of a few discoveries based on a Modular Dynamic Test," we hear.

"But the DGH insisted on a DST (in line with a policy on testing cleared by the Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 29, 2015)."

LNG Summit