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ONGC Finds Oil, Gas Reserves In Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal

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State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has made oil and gas discoveries in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal that may potentially open up two new sedimentary basins in the country, the firm's director for exploration said.

ONGC had previously opened six out of India's seven producing basins for commercial production. It is in the process of adding the eighth by putting Kutch offshore on the oil and gas map of India.

"The seventh basin was opened way back in 1985. We are looking at adding three more basins in next five years time." - Ajay Kumar Dwivedi, Director (Exploration), ONGC

The firm has found gas deposits in a block in the Vindhyan basin in Madhya Pradesh that is now being tested, he said.

ONGC has drilled four wells after the discovery and will now hydro-frack it by the end of the year to test commerciality of the finds.

Similarly, an oil and gas discovery has been made in a well in Ashok Nagar of 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, he said adding that one lakh cubic meters per day of gas flowed from one object that was tested.

Now, the firm would go for appraisal of the find, only after which commercially exploitable reserves could be established.

Dwivedi said the company is on the way to putting the Kutch offshore discovery to production. This would make Kutch India's eighth sedimentary basin. Cauvery was the last Category-I producing basin which was discovered in 1985.

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ONGC had made a significant natural gas discovery in the Gulf of Kutch off the west coast a few months back, which it plans to bring to production in 2-3 years, he said.

India has 26 sedimentary basins, of which only seven have commercial production of oil and gas. Except for the Assam shelf, ONGC opened up for commercial production all the other six basins, including Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, and Assam-Arakan Fold Belt.

The discovery in Kutch offshore may hold about one trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

The spread of Kutch offshore basin covers an area of 28,000 square kilometers in water depth of up to 200 meters and will become eighth producing basin of the country.

He, however, said in order to monetise the discoveries in the three new basins, "a favourable fiscal regime and concessions" are needed.

This, because the current gas price of $3.06 per million British thermal unit, is "challenging", he said adding the discoveries in a tight reservoir, where the cost of production is higher.

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