ONGC to raise production; eyes Iran gas

State-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has embarked on a plan to strengthen its focus on exploration and production, especially in the western offshore.

The explorer is also looking at a 20-25 per cent stake in an Iranian gas field. ONGC is awaiting Tehran's nod for developing the giant South Paras gas field it had discovered two years ago.

Officials of ONGC's overseas arm ONGC Videsh is expected to meet top officials of the Iranian national oil company next week to discuss participation in the development of Phase-12 of the gigantic South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, sources said.

Petropars, a unit of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), holds the rights for the field.

The Hinduja Group, meanwhile, is reported to have approached Petropars for picking a stake in the $7.5-billion South Pars Phase-12 project through a joint venture with the Iranian company.

OVL too had, in the past, signed a separate memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Petropars for SP-12 and is independently talking to NIOC. Alternatively, OVL is also likely to join a consortium with the Hindujas, sources said.

ONGC has, meanwhile, set up a multi-disciplinary team on a pilot basis for three assets in Gujarat in a bid to closely monitor, evaluate and ascertain the tangible contributions in terms of production efficiency, streamlining systems and procedures and fostering an overall growth, Sharma said.