ONGC needs another big onshore find: AK Hazarika

Vol 12, PW 4 (10 Jul 08) People & Policy

ONGC director onshore AK Hazarika has a tough task at hand.

His job is not only to make sure ONGC maintains oil and gas production from its existing onshore assets, but also to find new supplies. Hazarika, 56, has been in his post since September 2004, and met PETROWATCH at his office on July 3 for a wide-ranging chat on the onshore challenges faced by ONGC.

Hazarika said the most important thing about his job is also the most obvious. “ONGC needs a big onshore discovery,â€‌ he says with determination.

“We are making efforts at all our PEL and NELP blocks.â€‌ Hazarika says most of ONGC’s recent discoveries have been offshore.

“We have made some onshore discoveries also,â€‌ he adds. “But these are not very big.

â€‌ ONGC, he tells us, has found oil and gas at sites in Assam, the onshore Krishna Godavari, Cauvery and Cambay Basins but with limited impact on overall production. “Onshore oil production is one third of ONGC’s total crude production,â€‌ admits Hazarika.

“And only one fourth of our total gas production.â€‌ Most of ONGC’s onshore production of 8m t/y (154,000 b/d) oil and 5.6bn cubic meters of gas per annum comes from seven onshore assets across the country.

Keeping ageing wells flowing, says Borah, is a full-time job. “Six of the producing assets are old; they were discovered between 1960 and 1968 and are declining,â€‌ he says.

ONGC sees its 22-year old Gandhar oil and gasfield as its youngest field. Gandhar was discovered in 1984 and began production in 1986.

“It was our last major onland discovery,â€‌ he adds. “We have not been lucky enough to discover any big onshore field since.

â€‌ On the bright side, Borah is proud that ONGC has limited its production decline to 1-2% compared to a global average of 5-6% through the use of new technology. “People say ONGC’s production is going down but what they don’t see is the effort put in to sustain production at these levels,â€‌ he adds.

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