ONGC to Invest $5B to Start Up Production from Deepwater Blocks

ONGC's Chairman and Managing Director, R.S. Sharma, noted in his AGM Speech to shareholders that the Company has "ambitious growth plans and deep hopes" for its deepwater campaign.

ONGC plans to invest over $5 billion to start up production from deepwater blocks KG-DWN-98/2 and KG-OS-DW-IV by 2013. Sharma cited that the non-availability of deepwater and ultra-deepwater rigs in the global market has been a serious impediment in the Company's deepwater campaign.

During the shareholders' meeting, significant progress in exploration and development were also emphasized. Main projects in 2007-2008 have included Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery schemes, which have helped arrest the production decline in 15 major fields. Moreover, the Company has completed 40 fields as producers, which has contributed to 3% of the Company's total crude and 2% of its gas production for the 2007-2008 fiscal years.

ONGC has also acquired 11 more oil and gas assets in six countries over the past year and has submitted bids for 27 blocks up for grabs in the NELP-VII licensing round. The Company anticipates that it will be awarded at least 20 of these blocks.