Oil Minister puts ONGC, OIL on notice
On Tuesday, Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tuesday put state-owned ONGC and petrol on notice, saying petrol and gas reserves need to be monetized through joint ventures with domain experts. The government will take them away and auction them.
He said that “We have asked them to do two things. Do it yourself through some joint venture or a new business model. But the government cannot permit you to hold resources for an indefinite time.
ONGC and OIL produce about three-fourths of the nation’s oil and gas. They both have faced a lot of criticism ranging from not quickly bringing discoveries to production to lower recovery.
Pradhan said that “We want to reduce import dependency. We want to monetize our resources,” DSF means taking away dozens of small and marginal discoveries from two firms and auction them.
He also said on June 10, that “Resources don’t belong to a company. They belong to a nation and the government. They cannot lie with a company indefinitely. If somebody monetizes them, we will have to bring a new regime.
In October 2017, DGH identifies 15 producing fields with a collective reserve of 791.2 million tonnes of petrol. One year later, 149 small and marginal fields of ONGC were identified for private and foreign companies.
On 19 February 2019, the second plan went up to the cabinet and they decided to bid out 64 marginal fields of ONGC. But that tender got a tepid response. ONGC has produced about 20.2 million tonnes of crude oil in FY-2020-2021.