ONGC proposes $9.8 billion outlay for 5-year plan

By an OGJ Online Correspondent

MUMBAI, Dec. 20 -- India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) plans to spend 469.7 billion rupees ($9.8 billion) over 5 years to produce 144.28 million tonnes of crude oil and 121.80 billion cu m of gas.

In addition to the production targets, ONGC proposes to add 1.07 billion tonnes of oil equivalent new reserves in place and 250.5 million tonnes oil equivalent of recoverable reserves during the period.

ONGC proposes to drill 594 exploratory wells during the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07), 100 wells fewer than the Ninth Plan (1997-2002), but will carry out additional 3D seismic surveys.

"The trend the world over is towards cutting drilling costs, as greater precision in mapping and defining prospects has now been made possible by 3D imaging," the plan document says.

ONGC's domestic exploration program will focus on the deepwater sector, which could hold the largest remaining hydrocarbon potential in India.

It will drill 35 wells in deep water during the period, four times the number of wells proposed for the Ninth Plan. ONGC expects to spend 23.22 billion rupees on deepwater seismic surveys and exploratory drilling.

The company plans to spend 135.5 billion rupees on foreign operations. It will also spend 6 billion rupees to upgrade existing rigs.

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