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Indian oil firms need to bring in foreign players to unlock resources

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan asked exploration companies to consider farming out their acreages to global players with advanced technology to expedite development and raise oil and gas output.

India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, depends on foreign purchases for over 80% of its oil needs. The nation’s oil and gas output has been stagnant for years, forcing it to raise reliance on imports to meet rising fuel demand.

“The government will grant petroleum mining lease rights but the companies should consider a farm-out (of a stake) to get global technology players,” Pradhan said in Hindi.

Indian exploration companies should work at “exponential speed” to unlock resources, Pradhan said at production sharing signing ceremony of 11 oil and blocks by state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp and Oil India Ltd.

India’s exploration licensing rounds have so far seen a lukewarm response from global oil majors, with most of the blocks awarded to local companies, mainly ONGC and Oil India.

The companies have to reject a “business as usual approach” and adopt a professionally-run “commercially viable and technological friendly” model to boost output, Pradhan said.

He urged Indian exploration companies to function like holding firms and share revenue and profit with their new technical and financial partners. This will also boost the nation’s resources and add to the federal exchequer, he said.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by David Evans


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GasPro 2.0: A Webcast Symposium

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Following the successful GasPro Webcast Symposium in October 2019, the third GasPro Webcast Symposium will take place on October 21, 2020.

The 2019 webcast drew attendees from around the world, with more than 80% of the audience working in company management or engineering divisions.

The 2020 web event will gather experts in the fields of LNG, gas processing and process safety to share market, operations and engineering technology and trends with our audience.

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