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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Govt may allow ONGC to auction off marginal fields

The government may allow state-run ONGC to auction small and marginal fields that it has not found economical to develop, so that the discoveries in the fields could be brought into production.Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has a total of 165 marginal fields, out of which 144 fields have either been put on production or are in the process of monetisation. The remaining 21 fields may be auctioned for development through an international competitive bidding (ICB) route, company sources said.These 21 marginal fields comprise of 5 oilfields (4 on land and one offshore), 14 gas fields (9 on land and 5 offshore) and two offshore oil and gas fields, which have been estimated to cumulatively hold crude reserves of 496,900 tons and gas reserves of 1.519 billion cubic meters.Marginal fields are the oil and gas discoveries made by national oil companies in blocks awarded to them on nomination basis, but have not been exploited on the ground of commercial viability of technologial constraints.The sources said the Petroleum Ministry is likely to approach the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) soon for approval of the new Marginal Field Policy (MFP) under which ONGC and Oil India Ltd can auction off a large number of marginal fields, where discoveries have been made but not monetised, for development.

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