India's ONGC to invest $3.5 bln to boost output from western offshore assets

By Nidhi Verma

BENGALURU, Feb 7 (Reuters) - India's top exploration company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, will invest $3.5 billion over the next three-four years to boost output from its western offshore assets, Pankaj Kumar, head of offshore assets, said on Tuesday.

These assets are currently producing 41.5 million cubic meters a day (mmscmd) of gas and about 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, he said at the India Energy Week event in Bengaluru.

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, wants its companies to quickly monetise their oil and gas reserves to cut its import bill.

The ONGC is in talks with global oil majors, such as Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp and Equinor ASA to develop its deepwater blocks, he said.

"We are open to any kind of partnership under the production sharing contract, be it participating interest or a revenue sharing... we are open to partnership," Kumar said. Kumar said his company will start producing oil from its ultra deepwater block in the eastern offshore Krishna-Godavari basin KG 98/2 from May this year.

Initial production would be 10,000-12,000 bpd, which is expected to be ramped up to a peak of 45,000 bpd in two-three months, he said.

The company aims to raise gas output to 10 mmscmd from the KG basin by May 2024 from the current 1.7 mmscmd.

Kumar said the company is waiting for a gas processing platform to be built in the sea. Once it is ready, he said the company hopes to produce a "peak of about 10 mmscmd" by May 2024. (Writing by Shivam Patel in New Delhi; Editing by Sharon Singleton)