JV gas production will soar, predicts ministry

Vol 5, PW 12 (01 Aug 01) People & Policy

It's official.

Cairn, Niko and other private oil companies will be happy to learn that Indian authorities are pinning great hope on their ability to discover additional gas reserves to meet soaring demand. We understand the oil ministry has accepted the unpalatable fact that domestic gas production by ONGC will peak next year and steadily decline thereafter.

"The major increase in domestic gas supplies is expected to come from discoveries made by private and joint venture companies," we learn. "This increase would mainly come from the development of fields in Cambay and Mumbai offshore areas and to a limited extent from further development of Ravva.

Some new discoveries in the deep waters are also expected to go on stream during later part of the 10th plan (2002-2007)." High expectations also centre on blocks awarded under rounds 1 and 2 of NELP. "Significant large acreages have been awarded in deep water areas, both on the east and west offshore and initial results from these areas have been encouraging," we hear.

"There are strong expectations that significant quantities of gas are likely to be discovered in east coast offshore, both from shallow and deep water blocks." By 2006-7 the oil ministry confidently predicts NELP blocks will produce on average 15m cubic metres a day (cm/d). Tentative future gas projections prepared by the ministry are re-produced below: Organisation 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-6 2006-07 ONGC 66.95m cm/d 65.51m cm/d 61.25m cm/d 58.39m cm/d 55.46m cm/d Oil India 6.10m cm/d 6.50m cm/d 6.70m cm/d 7.79m cm/d 7.90m cm/d Private/JV 10.05m cm/d 19.36m cm/d 26.61m cm/d 26.62m cm/d 29.40m cm/d Total 88.10m cm/d 91.37m cm/d 94.56m cm/d 92.80m cm/d 92.76m cm/d