Here is some good news for consumers of natural gas. The availability of this scarce commodity from domestic sources would rise by about 59% to about 146 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) in FY19 from 92 mmscmd in the current year, according to an assessment by the petroleum ministry.
A large chunk of the envisaged incremental production would come from fields of state-run explorer ONGC, while the balance would be from assets held by Cairn India, GSPC and RIL, the petroleum ministry has told the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
On April 28, principal secretary in the PMO Nripendra Misra took a review of the gas availability scenario where top officials of the petroleum ministry said that the estimate of 146 mmscmd is based on the field development plans (FDPs) already approved and the projects are under production or to commence shortly.
“On an optimistic note, the gas output could further increase to 170 mmscmd (additional 24 mmscmd) if the KG Basin block of ONGC starts production and Oil India too drills gas in Andhra Pradesh,” a government official privy to the matter told FE.
State-run ONGC is aggressively working to hike its natural gas output by 81% to 116 mmscmd by 2019-20. Currently, ONGC produces roughly four-fifths of domestic gas. ONGC’s most talked-about project in the deep waters of Krishna-Godavari Basin is advancing and INTECSEA of Malaysia has prepared the FDP, which would be taken up by the board shortly.
In addition, ONGC has set high hopes on its Daman project that is poised to become one of the explorer’s prolific gas producing fields. The project in Mumbai offshore comprises a cluster of fields such as C-24 and B-12 (11/13/15) that would produce about 10 mmscmd of gas. The first output is expected by August 2016.
The government official said private explorer RIL is also expected to increase its output from its once-prolific KG-D6 blocks to 20 mmscmd by FY19 from about 11-12 mmscmd currently. “The incremental production in KG-D6 is expected to come from discoveries such as D2, D6, D19, D22 and D34. The explorer is taking up a cluster development model to monetise them,” the official added.
Other gas fields that would come on stream in the next few years include Cairn India’s Raageshwari and GSPC’s Deen Dayal (West).
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that during FY12 and FY15, nearly 40 discoveries (18 oil and 22 gas) have been made in onshore and offshore areas by both PSU and private explorers. Of this, declaration of commerciality proposals for four discoveries have so far been reviewed by the management committee, resulting in accretion of 211 million barrels of oil and 3.54 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in-pace volumes. The corresponding recoverable reserves are to the tune of 27.8 million barrels of oil and 1.39 bcm of gas.