The government has initiated a probe into Reliance Industries and Oil and Natural Gas Corp having knowledge as early as in 2003 of state-owned firm’s natural gas flowing into adjoining fields of RIL in KG Basin. ONGC had in late 2013 stated that it suspects extension of reservoirs from its blocks in the Bay of Bengal into RIL’s KG-D6. This was based on seismic data available to it at least since 2007. RIL, on the other hand, seems to have an inkling as early as in 2003.
“Government has decided that Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will conduct an enquiry into the acts of omission and commission on the issue of prior knowledge about the continuity of the reservoirs,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, he said the government had constituted a Committee under Justice (Retd) AP Shah to look into the dispute of gas migration from ONGC’s Blocks KG-DWN-98/2 and Godavari PML to RIL’s Block KG- DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) in KG Basin.
“The terms of reference of the Committee also included consideration of the acts of omission and commission, if any, on part of the stakeholders including RIL, ONGC, DGH and Government and give recommendations on them,” he said.
Committee has submitted its report, and its recommendations have been accepted by the Government.
“The Committee, in its report has observed that the 2003 Appraisal Report prima facie reveals that RIL had prior knowledge about connectivity and continuity of reservoirs, and did not bring the contents and findings of the 2003 Appraisal Report to the notice of DGH,” he said.
Pradhan said the Report also notes that ONGC, on its part, also had some form of prior knowledge about possible continuity in 2007, but did not act promptly or with due diligence, and took up the matter only six years after it first obtained relevant information.
ONGC outsources 2 fields to Halliburton, Schlumberger
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Wednesday signed agreements to practically outsource production of oil and gas from its ageing fields in Gujarat and Assam to international service providers Schlumberger and Halliburton.
Under the plan, ONGC will give out its Kalol field in Gujarat to Halliburton and Geleki field in Assam to Schlumberger. The two service providers would bring in necessary technology for boosting output.
“A base production level will be decided. They (Schlumberger and Halliburton) will be paid a certain USD dollar per barrel fee for producing oil beyond this agreed level,” ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf said.
All the oil produced will belong to ONGC and the arrangement is being entered into to get the best technology available, he said.
The Summary of Understanding (SoU), signed on sidelines of Petrotech conference, is for Production Enhancement Contract in the two fields.
“If we were to hire a certain technology and it failed, we would have to spend more money in bringing alternate technology. Now it is their responsibility to bring in whatever technology is needed. They get paid only if production exceeds the agreed base level,” he said.
Under the terms, Schlumberger and Halliburton will invest capital and share technical expertise in the two stagnant but producing oilfields.
If they are able to increase output, they will be paid a pre-determined fee on each additional barrel of crude oil produced. Besides Schlumberger and Halliburton, ONGC is also in talks with Weatherford International and Baker Hughes Inc among others.