'ONGC will give private players a tough competition'

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) Rajamahendravaram asset manager and executive director Debashis Sanyal has said that the public sector unit will give a tough competition in exploration, production, and pricing to the private players such as Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP that have come forward to invest in a large scale in the sector.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Sanyal, who is retiring from service this month-end, referred to ONGC chairman D.K. Sarraf’s recent statement in an interview that the company was investing ₹45,000 crore in three cluster programmes, including the KG Basin.

RIL and its partner BP are investing ₹40,000 crore in the once-prolific deep-water gas fields of the Krishna-Godavari (KG) D6 block on the country’s east coast. The investment will be over the next three to five years.

Asked for his comment on the huge investment being made by RIL, Mr. Sanyal there would be no conflict between the two companies as RIL was investing in 98/3 block and ONGC operating in 98/2 block.

He, however, refused to comment on RIL’s arbitration cases with the government in the D6 block saying the matter was “sub judice.”

RIL is in arbitration against the government disallowing recovery of certain KG-D6 gas field costs as a punishment for not fulfilling gas output targets. It is also in arbitration over deferring of natural gas price hike due from April 1 2014. The latest case of arbitration is against the government demanding 1.55 billion dollars as compensation from RIL and its partners for “unfairly exploring ONGC gas.”

Mr. Sanyal said RIL had its own pipeline and there was nothing to worry about pilferage or taking away of gas or oil below the sea.


Referring to the price competition, Mr. Sanyal said that as far as gas was concerned, it would be market driven. In respect of oil, the price would be fixed by the Ministry of Oil and Gas, he added.

Mr. Sanyal said that by 2021 gas production from the Odalarevu landfall point would be 20,000 million cubic metres per annum, which was 10 times the present production.

“This will be connected to GAIL pipeline through which the coastal corridor can be serviced in future,” he said.


Referring to the achievements after he had taken over in 2014, Mr. Sanyal said infusing confidence among employees, stakeholders and people after the GAIL pipeline blast in Nagaram was the biggest. Finding of a development field in Kesanapalli in Krishna district with a depth of 2,500 metres and Bantumilli (south) in West Godavari was another milestone, he added.

He said plans had been chalked out to increase production of oil and gas by 22% and 11% respectively in the next three years.

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