ONGC Union Protest Over Proposal of Giving Away Stake in Mumbai Oil Fields
Giving out stake in "existing fields shall not yield the results of enhancing domestic production" ONGC union said.
The Centre’s direction to state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to consider offering upto 60 percent stake of the Mumbai High and Bassein and Satellites (B&S) producing fields to foreign companies has been met with protests by the ONGC's 17,000 member strong union, PTI reported.
The Association of Scientific & Technical Offices of ONGC on Sunday, 21 November, petitioned to Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri against the proposal.
Referring to the Centre’s direction, which suggested boosting domestic production, the union said that ONGC should be given the same fiscal and regulatory regime as the private sector for exploring and producing oil and gas.
Giving out stake in "existing fields shall not yield the desired results of enhancing domestic production, instead it will provide a level playing field and empower ONGC to further enhance productivity," the union wrote in a statement.
"We would therefore request you that handing over producing fields on a platter to the private operator will not be successful and therefore, in our opinion, should not be pursued."The Association of Scientific & Technical Offices of ONGC
"Farming out 60 percent interest and operatorship in these fields shall have a major negative impact on ONGC's performance, whereas such efforts in the past have not yielded desired results, for example Panna, Mukta, Ratna, Tapti and PY-3," it added.
‘Very Few Willing to Participate in Exploration and Drilling’: ONGC Union
In a statement, the union said that unlike private operators who are unwilling to risk investments in new surveys and establishing reservers, ONGC has continued to explore new reserves consistently over the past three years.
According to the PTI report, data from the past three year shows that ONGC has consistently drilled more than 100 exploratory wells every year despite international cruise prices plummeting to an all-time low and private international companies stopping all explanatory plans.
"ONGC, however, bucked the trend and continued to aggressively invest in exploration and development activities," the union said.
‘Maintained Production Levels Despite Pandemic’: ONGC Union
The ONGC union asserted that despite the pandemic, it has been able to production levels in accordance with its annual plans.
Pointing towards Panna, Mukta and Tapti fields, which were earlier held with Shell and BG Group, the union said that it recovered more from these fields that the initial operators.
"The example of Panna, Mukta and tapti fields (in western offshore) where international E&P operators did not renew their leases even though the recovery factor from these fields had not even reached 20 per cent, in fact in one case it was even less than 10 per cent," it said pointing to ONGC's recovery factor — percentage of reserves being recovered — at 28 per cent in Mumbai High and Bassein fields.The Association of Scientific & Technical Offices of ONGC
"ONGC has plans to further enhance the production from these fields and in coming years, we shall see substantial increase from these fields," the union added.
(With inputs from PTI)
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