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ONGC officers’ union opposes 60% stake sale of ONGC

By IndianMandarins- 22 Nov 2021


New Delhi (22.11.2021): Union Petroleum Ministry's proposal to give away ONGC's biggest oil and gas fields to overseas firms has met with strong resistance from the officers’ union of the company. It wants the government to rather empower and give the company a level-playing field.
The Association of Scientific & Technical Offices of ONGC requested Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri against a proposal put by Amar Nath, additional secretary (exploration) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, for giving away 60 percent stake and operatorship of Mumbai High and Bassein and Satellite (B&S) offshore assets to international partners for raising output.
The union said that the company and its employees are completely aligned with the government objective of raising domestic production to cut imports and for this to happen ONGC should be given the same fiscal and regulatory regime as the private sector enjoys for exploring and producing oil and gas.
The government-dictated below market price gas price fixation for ONGC fields should be reviewed to make production from smaller and remote fields viable, it wrote to Puri on November 11. Also, ONGC should be given the freedom to market small pools of natural gas which in the present price regime are unviable.
Private and foreign operators are unwilling to take the risk of investing millions of dollars in surveying and drilling wells to establish reserves. They instead want to enter into established fields.
The data of the last 3 years shows that ONGC has been consistently drilling more than 100 exploratory wells every year even when the international crude prices had hit an all-time low. During the low price regime, most of the international and private E&P companies had stopped their exploratory plans and had drastically reduced their development investments.

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