ONGC to nearly double gas output in four years

ONGC to nearly double gas output in four years

ONGC plans to nearly double natural gas production in four years as it invests billions of dollars to produce from newer discoveries, the state-owned firm's chairman Shashi Shanker said.

India's biggest oil and gas producer is investing Rs 92,000 crore in 35 major projects which include 14 to bring new finds to production and six to improve recovery from the ageing fields.

"We have almost 70% of oil production coming from mature fields. My primary challenge is to step up production," said Shanker, who took over as the Chairman of Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) last month.

Plans on table would help raise crude oil production from 22.25 million tonnes in 2016-17 to 27 MT by 2021-22, he said.

Natural gas output is envisaged to rise from 22 billion cubic meters (60 million standard cubic meters per day) to 42 bcm (115 mmscmd) in FY'22, he said.

Meanwhile, the government has sent ONGC an information memorandum (IM) based on which the state-owned firm would make an offer to buy majority stake in HPCL, officials said.

The Cabinet had on July 19 approved the sale of government's entire 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) to Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) as part of its Rs 72,500 crore disinvestment target for the current fiscal, 2017-18.

Transaction advisors were appointed in August and it was expected that an IM containing detailed information on HPCL's assets and liabilities would be handed over to ONGC by mid- September so as to help it firm up a value for the stake buy.

"In a typical strategic stake sale, the government opens data room for potential acquirer to access information on the target company. But in case of HPCL this is being done on the basis of largely publicly known information that has been put in IM," an official who wished not to be identified said.

Originally, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) was keen to close the transaction in October or November itself but it managed to send the IM to ONGC only on October 31.

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