State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will in 2019 begin producing oil from the Ratna and R-Series oilfield in Mumbai offshore, which it won back after the government cancelled award to Essar Oil.
“We are working on a development plan and investment approvals will be sought in a month’s time,” ONGC Director (Offshore) Tapas Kumar Sengupta said.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had in March decided to return the fields to its original licensee after contract with Essar could not be concluded even after 20 years.
Essar Oil and Premier Oil of UK were awarded the Ratna and R-Series oil and gas fields, lying 130 km off the Mumbai coast, in December 1996 “We have taken over the fields and have started the process of developing them,” he said.
The Ratna and R-series oil fields hold an estimated 87 million barrels of oil and 1.2 billion cubic metres of gas reserves.
The medium-sized Ratna and R-Series (R&RS) fields have been languishing since 1993 when the then P V Narasimha Rao-led Congress government decided to invite bids.
The fields were awarded to a consortium led by Essar Oil in 1996.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 1999 approved finalising and concluding PSC within six months after negotiations were held by the negotiating team of secretaries (NTS), but the same has not been signed till date over royalty and cess amount to be charged from Essar Oil and partners.