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BG Group plans to invest $500 mn in Indian operations

New Delhi: British energy firm BG Group Plc plans to invest $500 million over next five years in its oil and gas business in India, reports PTI quoting the company's India head Walter Simpson.

"We are looking at both upstream and downstream opportunities for expansion in India," he said on the sidelines of the Petrotech-2010 oil and gas conference here.

BG Group has 30% stake in Panna/Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields off the west coast. Besides, it has 25%-24% stake in three exploration blocks with state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). It has a 65.12% controlling stake in Gujarat Gas Co Ltd, which sells gas in Gujarat, and 49.75% stake in Mahanagar Gas Ltd which retails CNG and piped gas in Mumbai.

Mr Simpson said BG and its partners ONGC and Reliance Industries are planning further investment in raising output from the Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields.

The fields currently produce about 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day and close to 13 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of natural gas.

He however refused to give details of plans for Panna/Mukta field.

The Panna field comprises 430 sq km of area, located 50km east of the giant Bombay High field and is 95km NW of Mumbai city. The Mukta field is comprised of 777 sq km of area, located 100km Northwest of Mumbai city. Tapti field covering an area of 1471 sq km lies 160km north-north west of Mumbai city.

ONGC has 40% interest and RIL the remaining 30% in the fields.

BG Group's aim is to optimise recovery from the PMT fields through ongoing existing field development (including well intervention and infill drilling) as well as new projects. The company will complete installation of Panna-L platform by December, with first production in early 2011, he said.

Mr Simpson said BG is looking at participation in the current ninth round under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) where 34 blocks have been offered for bidding.

BG, he said, had expressed interest to pick a stake in ONGC's gas discovery block KG-DWN-98/2 after two foreign partners Petrobras of Brazil and Norsk Hydro of Norway exited the block.

"We had shown interest and the process is on," he said.

ONGC has made 10 natural gas discoveries in KG-DWN-98/2 block which sits next to Reliance's prolific KG-D6 block.
 

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