India's energy milestone: ONGC's first oil production from KG block heralds new era in self-reliance
The Krishna-Godavari deepwater extraction will contribute 7% to the current national oil and 7% to natural gas production
When the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) announced the successful start of oil extraction from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) deepwater block on January 7, 2024, it marked a significant achievement for India's energy sector.
The development, reported from the 'M' field of the KG-DWN-98/2 block about 35 kilometres off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in the Bay of Bengal, is being seen as a major boost for the government's Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) mission.
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri has emphasized that this project would contribute 7% to the current national oil and 7% to natural gas production, reinforcing India's status as the fastest growing economy.
This development signifies the near completion of Phase 2 of the project. This field is expected to contribute significantly to India's oil output, with an estimated peak production of 45,000 barrels per day. "This is a remarkable step in India’s energy journey and boosts our mission for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in a social media post, highlighting the project's importance for the country's economy.
The development of the KG-DWN-98/2 block faced unique challenges due to the waxy nature of the crude, which ONGC overcame using innovative 'Pipe in Pipe' technology, a pioneering initiative in India. The majority of the fabrication works were carried out at a modular facility in Kattupalli, demonstrating ONGC’s commitment to the 'Make in India' initiative and towards creating a self-reliant energy sector.
The KG-DWN-98/2 block, adjacent to the Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) gas field at the KG-D6 block, is a remarkable addition to ONGC's portfolio. Initially acquired by Cairn Energy and later fully owned by ONGC, this block is expected to increase ONGC’s total oil and gas production by 11% and 15%, respectively. This flagship project is on track, with the final phase and the balance oil and gas fields scheduled for production by mid-2024, according to ONGC.
The venture demonstrates India's enhanced skills in deep-sea exploration and its strong dedication to cutting down on oil imports. India, which imports 85% of its crude oil requirements, is set to save nearly Rs 11,000 crore per year with this domestic production.
The increase in domestic output is anticipated to significantly reduce the outflow of foreign exchange for crude oil imports. In a broader context, this achievement marks a turning point for ONGC, reversing the trend of falling output due to the natural decline of its older assets and positioning India as a key player in the global energy landscape.