IndianOil wants more upstream E&P assets

Vol 25, PW 1 (02 Dec 21) Exploration & Production

IndianOil is embarking on an ambitious expansion drive.

Not only is it considering a stake at a mystery LNG terminal in the Middle East, but back home it's also talking to Oil India to 'farm in' to five OALP blocks. "IndianOil wants to increase its E&P portfolio in India," disclosed Hridesh Baindail, head of IndianOil's upstream business, in a candid 20-minute speech during a day-long gas seminar organised by India Infrastructure on November 16 (2021).

"We have shortlisted five OALP blocks with Oil India where we want to farm-in and are looking at several other Oil India and ONGC blocks for potential farm-ins." Baindail did not disclose the names of the five OALP blocks but said IOC also wants to add to its CBM portfolio.

"We want to farm-in to Coal India and Prabha Energy's Jharia CBM Block-1 (in Jharkhand)," he said. As reported in our November 18 (2021) issue, Coal Inda and Prabha plan to drill five core wells and five test wells over two years to target 1.3m cm/d of CBM production from 2026.

IOC (20%) already partners ONGC (55%) and Prabha Energy (25%) at the producing North Karanpura CBM block NK-CBM-2001/1 in Jharkhand and IOC (20%) partners ONGC (80%) at the BK-CBM-2001/1 block, also in Jharkhand. Bandail further revealed that IOC is looking for partners to bid in the Special CBM Bid Round 2021 round, launched on September 22 (2021) with a February 20 (2022) bid deadline, where 15 blocks are on offer across West Bengal, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

On November 30 (2021), the DGH announced that a pre-bid conference for the Special CBM Bid Round 2021 had been postponed and that a new date would be announced shortly. Baindail said IOC currently produces 4m toe/d (tonnes of oil equivalent per day) from its assets in India and overseas.

"We are looking forward to increasing this to 11m toe/d by 2030," he said. Baindail added that IOC wants to secure 10% of the feedstock it uses at its refineries from its E&P assets by 2030.

IOC's refining capacity is likely to be 110m t/y by then, so 10% of that would be 11m toe/y. Bandail clarified that of this 11m toe/y, around 40% would be gas, and 60% would be oil.