Bharat Petroleum to Bid on ONGC Marginal Fields

Bharat Petroleum Corporation is considering bidding for the offshore marginal oil and gas fields offered by ONGC in India. The extent of participation would depend on the nature of the blocks offered. The company wants to get into the entire value chain of „hpetroleum products. It has a strong presence in the marketing and refining.

Another marketing company, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), through its subsidiary -- Prize Petroleum -- has already bagged marginal fields for „hexploration purpose by ONGC.

BPCL wants to get into exploration to ensure supply security of crude which has become a volatile commodity of late. Last year, the company announced its decision to get into the exploration and production (E&P) business and the company announced a provision of Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 crore for exploration „hactivities over the next five years.

The company had said that it has become necessary for BPCL to explore other avenues for securing crude by entering the upstream sector in order to have reasonable supply security, hedging of price risks and benefits of an integrated supply chain in the volatile oil market. BPCL is pursuing all the E&P opportunities, whether it is the exploration blocks offered by the government „hunder the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) or farm-in opportunities.

Last year, BPCL achieved success in bidding for the oil and gas blocks offered under the fourth round of NELP. BPCL has been awarded three blocks -- two blocks in deep sea water, in the Krishna-Godavari and Mahanadi basin. These blocks are in consortium with ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL). BPCL has also bagged a third block on-land in the Cauvery basin along with ONGC. BPCL is also exploring farming-in opportunities to buy out assets of the existing E&P players. However, the company is yet to see success in this.