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A look at ONGC-III
Oct 8, 2007

In the previous articles, we answered the questions "where" (basins), "how many"(fields) and "how much"(reserves) regarding ONGC’s domestic upstream assets. We will now profile its international upstream assets. ONGC holds participating interests in exploration blocks outside India through its wholly owned subsidiary ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), subsidiaries of OVL and joint ventures of OVL.

Where? OVL has operations in Asia Pacific (Myanmar, Sakhalin, Vietnam), Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Qatar), Africa (Libya, Sudan, Egypt) and Latin America (Cuba, Columbia).

Myanmar
OVL has 20% interest in offshore Block A-1 of Myanmar. The other consortium partners are Daewoo (60%-Operator), GAIL (10%) and KOGAS (10%). The block A-1 extends over an area of about 3,885 sq. km off Myanmar’s Rakhine coast, close to Bangladesh. So far, gas reserves of 4 to 6 trillion cubic feet (TCF) have been discovered.

Sakhalin, Russian Federation
Sakhalin-1 is a project to develop offshore crude oil and natural gas reserves in 3 fields off the coast of Sakhalin island, in the far eastern territorial waters of the Russian Federation. The Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the project became effective in 1996 among a consortium of oil and gas companies, consisting of ExxonMobil, the Japanese company Sodeco, Rosneft-S (a subsidiary of Rosneft) and Sakhalin Mor Nefta Gas, or SMNG-S. OVL entered the project in 2001 when it acquired Rosneft’s 20% interest. Exxon-Mobil operates the project. Sakhalin-1 hydrocarbon resources are estimated to be around 2.3 billion barrels of oil and 17 TCF of gas.

Vietnam
OVL, along with partners British Petroleum (UK) and PetroVietnam (Vietnam), discovered dry gas reserves in the Lan Tay and Lan Do fields in Block 06.1, about 400 km southeast of Vung Tau on the southern Vietnamese coast. The reserves are estimated at 2 TCF.

Iran
OVL secured the bid in early 2002 and has finalised the draft Exploration Service Contract with the National Iranian Oil Company of Iran, for the Farsi offshore block. The partners in this exploration project are OVL (40% interest-Operator), IOC (40%) and OIL (20%).

The Farsi offshore exploration block, measuring 3,500 sq km, is located in the Persian Gulf. 5 wells have been drilled on 3 prospects, out of which 2 wells produced about 3,300 barrels per day. Reserve expectation from the block is about 540 m barrels.

Iraq
The contract for Exploration Block–8, Western Desert, Iraq was signed by OVL with the Oil Exploration Company (OEC) of the Ministry of Oil, Iraq in 2000. The new government of Iraq has ratified the contract. The block has a reserve expectation of about 645 m barrels.

Syria
The government of Syria awarded contract for exploration block-14 to OVL along with IPR Mediterranean Exploration Limited (IRPMEL), an IPR Group of Companies, US in 2004. Block-14, measuring about 3,853 sq km is located in the central eastern part of Syria. The participating interest of IPRMEL and OVL is 40% and 60% respectively. IPRMEL is the operator in the block.

Qatar
OVL signed an agreement with the government of Qatar in 2005 for appraisal of the Najwat Najem Oil structure in the Persian Gulf, Qatar. OVL is the operator for the project. 2 wells have been drilled on the structure. The 2nd well, NN#2, produced oil at the rate of 2,000 barrels per day.

In the next article, we shall profile ONGC’s international upstream assets and look at its operations in Africa and Latin America.

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