June 11, 2021 3:49:55 am
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday called out state-owned upstream oil and gas companies ONGC and OIL for not monetising oil and gas fields for long periods and said the government would look into methods to monetise such resources at the earliest.
“If a company has come into possession of a resource through a process, it does not mean they will have it indefinitely,” he said, at the launch of the third round of auctions for small fields with proven reserves under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) regime.
He called on the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and the Oil Ministry to present a path to quickly monetise resources that have remained undeveloped.
“If someone does not monetise these resources, new enterprises will have to be brought in (to do so),” said Pradhan. The latest round of DSF auction offers 75 discoveries covering 13,000 sq km with estimated hydrocarbon reserves of 230 million tonnes.
As per officials aware of developments, the government is encouraging ONGC to sell off its stakes in maturing oil and gas fields, which require significant capital investment to maintain output levels. It is also looking to bring in foreign partners in its development in its oil and gas blocks in the Krishna Godavari basin to accelerate production.
The crude oil production of state-owned upstream players ONGC and OIL has fallen over the past five years with natural gas production remaining stagnant.
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