Lack of gas demand shuts in Indian wells

India�s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) said a lack of customers for gas has forced it to shut in two dozen wells that also produce more than 100 tonnes/day of oil. An official said that while ONGC could produce the oil, the associated gas would have to be flared, which the company is unwilling to do.


MUMBAI�India�s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) said a lack of customers for gas has forced it to shut in gas wells that also produce more than 100 tonnes/day of oil.

�Currently about two dozen wells, 16 wells in the Narimanam region alone, have been closed, since there are no takers for the gas produced, which results in a loss of more than 100 tonnes/day of oil,� said C.P. Saha, ONGC's southern region director.

Saha said that while ONGC could produce the oil, the associated gas would have to be flared, which the company is unwilling to do.

�Until firm commitments for purchase of gas are made or pipelines laid for transportation to other regions, we will not be able to exploit the reserves in the near future,� he said.

�We are adding a reserve of around 7 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent of gas every year. The project to bring gas from the Krishna-Godavari offshore fields is in an advanced stage and further development of these fields is contemplated.�

Last year, the region produced 522,300 tonnes of crude and around 1.5 billion cu m of gas. The target for crude production this fiscal year is 0.8 million tonnes and gas is 2 billion cu m.

�The Krishna-Godavari basin predominantly produces gas while the Cauvery basin, predominantly oil,� Saha said. �Extensive surveys are being undertaken to develop the Ramnad area of Tamil Nadu into a full-fledged gas producing zone, and more deepwater wells are to come up on the country�s eastern coast.�

The Ramnad area has remained untapped for a long period. Out of the 11 wells here, nine are hydrocarbon bearing. Further efforts for delineating the fields are being taken up in the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar.

�These are expected to put Ramnad on the gas map of India,� Saha said. �This area alone could produce around 1 billion cu m of gas annually.�

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