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ONGC to start drilling in Kerala-Konkan coast in Feb 2014

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 20:33

Kochi: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is likely to commence drilling in the Kerala-Konkan coast area in February next year, a top official has said.

On the Kerala-Konkan coast, ONGC had acquired 15 wells, six of which are deep wells. "Till now we have not discovered presence of oil or natural gas in the area. There are challenges for drilling, but we have not given up exploration," ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters here.

Currently, ONGC is holding two blocks. Drilling will be done in the Kerala-Konkan basin in February next year,he said.

ONGC had conducted extensive exploration work on the Kerala-Konkan coast in the past few years, but there has been no commercial discoveries so far.

ONGC has identified Cambay basin in Gujarat as potential area for exploration of shale gas. Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily will visit the basin next week, he said.

Increasing subsidy burden on ONGC will affect the operational efficiency of the company in future, he said, adding its total burden for 2013-14 fiscal was around Rs 52,000 crore. It is going to affect future investment plans of ONGC, he said.

"At present there is no problem...In future, if things are not addressed properly, it will affect the efficiency of the company. We hope the government will take care of the situation," he said.

The company was looking at various options, including raising debt from the market and coming out with follow on public offer to raise resources, the ONGC chief said.

After the Mangalore Refinery was taken over by ONGC, the corporation had invested Rs 12,000 crore to increase capacity from 9.6 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes. Things are going as per company's plans and gross refining margins have shown an improvement, he said.

First Published: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 20:33
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