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Lloyds List: ONGC drills ahead with Norway's EMGS

Mar 08, 2006
INDIA'S state-owned explorer-producer Oil ' Natural Gas Corp has tied up with Norway's Electromagnetic Geoservices to improve its prospects of recovering oil and gas through deepwater drilling, writes Shirish Nadkarni in Mumbai.
The tie-up will give ONGC access to the Norwegian company's pioneering, patented technology in this area, named 'seabed logging', which is particularly suited to extracting what the oil industry terms 'difficult oils'.
The partnership, finalised on February 2, is expected to improve ONGC's low success ratio in deepwater drilling, part of which is attributed to a lack of access to appropriate technology.
'The new technology should be particularly useful in improving our success rate in blocks off the Indian east coast, like the Krishna-Godavari basin, the Bengal basin and the Mahanadi basin,' said ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha.
As India's first operator to acquire the seabed logging technology, ONGC would also be in a position to reduce the cost of its deepwater campaign.
Seabed logging is used by the world's top 25 oil companies and ONGC is counting on the technology to help double the quantum of 'in place' oil and gas reserves by 2020.
ONGC has also forged two key tie-ups in recent weeks. The first is with Royal Dutch'Shell for bidding jointly for assets in India and abroad, including the Sakhalin-II fields in Russia. 'We have a 20% equity holding in Sakhalin-I, but we would like to pick up a stake in Sakhalin-II so that we can tie up gas from the two projects to make shipments viable,' said Mr Raha.
There are chances that Shell would take equity in ONGC-owned blocks. The two energy majors would then bid jointly for exploration blocks in future options of prospecting licences in India.
The second tie-up is a three-year pact with Malaysia's Asian Supply Base to obtain consultancy services for upgrading and transforming ONGC's existing Nhava Sheva Supply Base into a supply base of international standards.
The corporation is also exploring the possibilities of investing in oil sand extraction projects.
Oil sand, or tar sand, is a mined product found mostly in Canada and Venezuela that is treated to produce crude oil.

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