I hope all of you are safe, healthy and vaccinated.
The E&P community collectively braced itself against the headwinds of the two waves of COVID-19, with resilience and resoluteness. As oil and gas activities revived, the industry adapted and reengineered its operations to drive down unit costs by exploring synergies. Government came forward with new reforms to enhance ease of doing business in the exploration and production (E&P) sector.
Our continued reliance on imported oil and gas makes it imperative to pursue an aggressive domestic strategy for exploration and production of oil and gas. Much needs to be done, therefore, to reduce the country’s dependence on imports which currently touch 85% for oil and 53% for gas. This entails targeting prospective resources (Yet to Find) and strategizing it further to maximize resource conversion leading to economic recovery of oil and gas resources, both in mature fields and frontier plays across different basins.
In consultation with all stakeholders, Government formulated an E&P action plan with the national objective to reach 40 MMT oil production and 50 BCM gas production by 2024. The action plan, besides targeting domestic production enhancement, aims at enabling investments in E&P, encourage collaboration, accelerate digitalization, foster innovation, embrace best industry practices, and enhance operational efficiency by leveraging key enablers.
The exploration action plan focuses on time bound acreage acquisition of 500,000 sq. km. by 2025 while intensifying exploration in existing acreages with special emphasis on play-based exploration strategy leading to consolidated development of existing and new plays. Impetus is also being given to acquisition of new geoscientific data and upgradation of NDR for improved access to quality data.
The development action plan focuses on expediting production from existing fields, time-bound monetization of discoveries, reducing the inventory of non-flowing wells and increased thrust on production of CBM. These twin goals of exploration and production shall be strategically enabled by fostering partnerships, augmenting capacity building, regulatory reforms and digital adoption in entire spectrum of E&P activities.
Recently, further simplification of process and procedure under Production Sharing Contracts was undertaken. Now, contractual submissions will be accepted on self-certification basis and no approval will be required. Also, ‘Upstream India’ portal was launched to facilitate the E&P players to share their inventory, encourage sharing of good industry practices and handholding of small and medium operators. To facilitate faster statutory clearances and approvals through improved coordination, ‘Urja Pragati’ portal has gone live. Progress in implementation of the E&P projects will also be monitored through this portal.
Government continues to usher further reforms in the E&P sector to facilitate business and investment and build a conducive ecosystem. DGH urges all operators and investors to take advantage of the available opportunities, such as Discovered Small Field Bid Round-III, Production enhancement contracts of ONGCs fields, OALP Bid Round VI and the upcoming offer of CBM fields. These avenues provide an attractive opportunity at investment friendly terms.
As the upstream technical arm of Ministry, DGH reaffirms its commitment to the development of the sector and ensure a collaborative ecosystem that protects investments. We value our continued partnership and look forward to working together for achieving the targets set under the E&P action plan.
S. C. L. Das