State-owned ONGC, which is often perceived as a drag on the crude oil and natural gas produced in the country, has actually seen its contribution to the national production jump to over 70% from under 53% a decade back, petroleum ministry data showed.
While Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) maintained production levels, output by other operators has dropped, leading to an overall fall in India’s output and a sharp rise in import dependency.
Its standalone production at 47.51 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in 2010-11 was 52.8% of a total of 89.91 million tonnes of oil and gas produced in the country that year, the data showed.
Despite having the majority of fields where natural decline has set after being in operations for more than four decades, ONGC maintained production throughout the last decade thereafter and had an output of 44.57 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in 2019-20, which was 70.3% of India’s total production of 63.353 million tonnes.
ONGC’s output dropped to 43.54 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in 2015-16 (62.9% of India’s total production) but new discoveries as well as massive investment in extracting last drop from the ageing fields arrested further fall and even led to a marginal increase.
Even when its production dropped when compared to previous year, ONGC’s share in total production of crude oil and natural gas in the country continued to rise, the data which formed part of the review taken by the ministry a couple of weeks back, showed.
ONGC is focused on finding oil and gas reserves in Category II and III Basins, which do not have established hydrocarbon proficiency.