Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has set a new record of drilling over 500 wells in 2016-17 at an expenditure of Rs 15,747 crore as the major state-owned explorer steps up efforts to boost domestic output.
ONGC drilled 501 wells in the financial year ended March 31, 2017 as compared to 386 wells in 2015-16. This is the first time in 23 years that ONGC has crossed the 500-well mark.
Oil and gas exploration is a risky business and only drilling of wells can guarantee a discovery and confirmation of reserves. The company exceeded the government mandated target of 490 wells. Of the 501 wells drilled, 334 wells were in onshore and the remaining 167 in offshore, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf said here.
"While many explorers worldwide decided to slow down due to the prevailing low price scenario, ONGC had taken the conscious decision to step up the exploration efforts. Despite this challenging environment, the ONGC drilling and well services has put in a commendable performance," he said. Sarraf said several steps were taken during the last financial year to cut down rig deployment time, increase operational efficiencies and cost control.
ONGC operates some 105 drilling and 74 work over rigs. It is among the few companies in the world to have drilled 127 deepwater wells in diverse and challenging areas.
The company's Director (T&S) Shashi Shanker said: "Setting a new benchmark of 501 wells in a year is a phenomenal achievement, especially considering the challenges the oil and gas industry has faced globally during the past two years. "There is a continuous emphasis in ONGC on induction of state-of-the-art technology, optimum utilisation of resources and minimisation of non-productive time of rigs to increase operational efficiency."
Offshore, which contributes to 80 per cent of ONGC's 24 million tonne a year crude oil production, exceeded all its drilling targets. Targets were also surpassed in drilling onland where majority of ONGC's owned rig fleet is deployed. He said as drilling activities account for ONGC's major expenditure, an increase in drilling efficiency would translate to additional savings.
In order to have a more focused approach towards onshore, offshore (shallow waters) and offshore (deep waters) operations a new concept 'Company within Company' was rolled out in Mumbai High Asset to bring about operational efficiency in offshore drilling operations.
Drilling of record number of wells has not just led to establishing newer resources but also augment production from the old and depleting fields. But for these drilling oil output would have dropped to 22 MT.