ONGC to boost crude oil, natural gas output significantly: new chief

ONGC aims to boost natural gas output by 60 per cent to 100 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) over the next five years and crude oil production by 20 per cent to 28 million tonnes a year by 2013-14.

Sudhir Vasudeva, the new chairman of ONGC, told reporters that he was willing to tie-up with international energy majors to raise oil and gas production from new discoveries, especially in the Mahanadi and Krishna-Godavari basins.

''My first focus will be the core activity of exploration,'' declared Vasudeva. ''We will leave no stone unturned in revisiting the exploration strategy.'' Pointing out that there was a lot of strength and potential in the people and fundamentals of ONGC, Vasudeva remarked: ''All we need to do is to wake up the sleeping giant.''

The company would also become more aggressive in overseas acquisitions as it has to meet the target of 20 million tonnes of oil (or equivalent of gas) to be produced from overseas assets by 2020. India is facing stiff competition from Chinese companies in acquiring overseas oil and gas assets, especially in Africa.

ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of the energy behemoth, produces about 9.5 million tonnes of crude at present from 16 assets abroad.

The company plans to invest almost Rs25,000 crore in developing nearly 35 marginal fields, with a potential to produce 15 to 20 mmscmd gas. Vasudeva promised that the company would focus on bringing new oil and gas fields into production to reverse the effects of declining output from ageing fields.