March 23, 2023 01:08 (IST)
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Centre to increase India's exploration acreage to 1.0 million sq. km. by 2030: Hardeep Singh Puri Sagar Samrat
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri re-dedicating ONGC’s iconic Sagar Samrat as a Mobile Offshore Production Unit to the nation (Image Credit: PIB)

Centre to increase India's exploration acreage to 1.0 million sq. km. by 2030: Hardeep Singh Puri

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 Jan 2023, 12:14 am

Mumbai: The government intends to increase India's exploration acreage to 0.5 million sq. km. by 2025 and 1.0 million sq. km. by 2030, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.

Puri said the government has been successful in reducing the ‘No Go' area by 99%, thereby making available an additional approx. 1 million sq. km. of India's EEZ for exploration.

Several MNCs like Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Total Energies are showing keen interest to invest in the Indian E&P segment, and some are already in talks with ONGC for firming up mutually beneficial partnerships.

On Saturday, the minister rededicated Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) iconic drilling rig Sagar Samrat, as a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) today at a ceremony held on Sagar Samrat, some140-145 km west of Mumbai.

Sagar Samrat is a testimony of India’s vision of producing its own oil when it was globally labelled as “barren” in terms of hydrocarbon exploration, Puri said.

In harnessing India’s most prominent and prolific oilfield, ONGC has consistently committed itself to the pursuit of knowledge, continual excellence and the willingness to evolve technologically, he added.

“The legacy of Sagar Samrat also honors the memories of the martyred officers who laid down their lives for ONGC and more importantly for India's energy security,” said the minister.

The minister pointed out that India imports 85% of its petroleum requirements and spent approx. $120 Billion in FY 2021-22 on the import of petroleum products.

He stressed that India’s Amrit Kaal cannot be realized without achieving energy Independence by 2047.

About Sagar Samrat

Sagar Samrat was built at the Mitsubishi yard in Japan and set sail from Hiroshima on 3 April 1973.

It drilled ONGC’s first Offshore well in 1974 in Mumbai Offshore region of Arabian Sea, then called the Bombay High.

In 32 years, Sagar Samrat has drilled almost 125 wells and has been involved with 14 key offshore oil and gas discoveries in India.

Initially a jack-up drilling rig, Sagar Samrat has now been converted into a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU).

The British engineering and consulting conglomerate Wood Group’s Mustang unit based in Texas carried out the front-end engineering and design for the vessel’s conversion.

MOPU Sagar Samrat commenced production on 23 December 2022.

The vessel is presently deployed at Western Offshore (WO)-16 field, located 140-145 km west of Mumbai.

Located adjacent to the ONGC’s existing WO-16 wellhead platform (WHP) in 76m of water depth, the vessel will be instrumental in producing from marginal fields in WO cluster thereby augmenting production from Western Offshore.

The MOPU is designed to handle 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil and has a maximum export gas capacity of 2.36 million cubic meters per day.