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ONGC has decided to invest Rs 2,300 crore in the ageing onshore oil fields in Gujarat to stop the 5-7 per cent natural decline in production and marginal enhancement as well

ONGC has decided to invest Rs 2,300 crore in the ageing onshore oil fields in Gujarat to stop the 5-7 per cent natural decline in production and marginal enhancement as well. The project is a part of the plan to increase onshore crude oil production to 10 million tonnes in the next few years.

Though it engages roughly 45 per cent of its 37,000-strong workforce, the onshore crude production of 8.2 million tonnes, largely from Assam and Gujarat, accounted for less than 30 per cent of the total production of 27 million tonnes in 2004-05.

Seven million tonnes (85 per cent) of the total onshore production come from three fields – Ahmedabad, Ankleshwar, and Mehsana in Gujarat, which employ substantially less manpower than in Assam.

The onshore fields in KG basin produce 5.5 billion cubic metres of gas and associated oil.

While Gujarat and KG basin are in profit mode, operations in Assam made marginal profits in 2004-05, riding on high crude oil prices. Compared to fields in Gujarat, close to two-thirds of the oil wells in Assam are non-flowing, resulting in heavy losses.

To make the operations in the State profitable, the company has already decided to go for Rs 800-crore technology upgradation to enhance the production by close to one million tonnes in three years.

Stating that they are not expecting any marked increase in the three oil fields in Gujarat, sources said that despite having fewer non-flowing wells the average per well output is considerably low and are subject to five to seven per cent natural decline. ‘Our focus here is arresting the natural decline in production and enhancement of recoverable reserves,’ an official said.

The investment plan is, therefore, largely directed at enhancement of oil recovery schemes through in situ combustion and increasing reservoir life span. ‘We have already experimented with these schemes in a number of wells,’ the official said.

Source : sify.com

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