Vol 3, PW 2 (17 Feb 99) Exploration & Production

Petrowatch learns that ONGCs decision to open an office at Ramnad initially met with stiff opposition from ONGC technical staff, who argued the town is underdeveloped, with poor infrastructure and no social amenities.

ONGC staff feel that Madurai, a developed town further north, is a better location. CP Saha, ONGC's Regional Director, and the man behind the decision to open an office in Ramnad, disagrees.

Saha is confident that the area contains significant gas potential. He has convincingly argued that ONGC will encounter more gas strikes in the region and that the inevitable increase in gas production from the area is best managed from a location close to the producing fields.

ie. Ramnad.

ONGC operations in the area are at present directed from nearby Karaikal. Future ONGC plans in the area presently centre on a ten-well exploration programme.

Of the 10 wells, five have already been drilled in the Periapatnam - Periamangalam - Ramanavalasai region, Cauvery onshore. A source in the area tells Petrowatch the fifth well, completed recently, showed substantial quantities of gas, though no figures are available.

ONGC is now preparing to drill its 6th well. When the gas wells come in, as ONGC expects them to, there will be no shortage of buyers.

ONGC has already committed itself to supply the local Tamil Nadu Electricity Board with 300,000 cubic metres of gas per day for the next 10 years. As everyone knows, TNEBs appetite for gas is insatiable.