The warning by Cairn is significant in view of the fall in gas output from RIL’s neighbouring KG-D6 block
New Delhi: State-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) may have overstated the natural gas reserves in its much-talked about KG basin KG-DWN-98/2 block, which sits next to Reliance Industries’ (RIL) prolific KG-D6 fields, reports PTI.
Cairn India, which had made four discoveries in the KG-DWN-98/2 block before selling 90% out of its 100% stake in the block to ONGC in 2005, has written to the oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) saying the state-owned firm is grossly overstating the reserves in block, sources said.
It believes that “the hither-to discovered oil and gas resources in the block are only marginal to non-commercial, because of their small size and the potential high development costs due to water depth versus the prevailing gas prices.”
ONGC estimates that the block holds an in-place volume of 25.61 million tonnes of oil and 197 billion cubic metres of natural gas. It is proposing an investment of over $7.3 billion to produce up to 30 million standard cubic metres per day of gas.
The warning by Cairn, which holds a 10% interest in the acreage and is credited with finding oil in an area in Rajasthan where global giant Royal Dutch/Shell exited saying there was no hydrocarbons, is significant in view of the fall in gas output from RIL’s neighbouring KG-D6 block.
RIL had in 2007 estimated that the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields in the KG-D6 block would hit 69 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of output, but production has fallen to 40 mmscmd due to what the Mukesh Ambani-led firm says are reservoir complexities.
Cairn, which is recognised the world-over for its expertise in assessment of hydrocarbon resources, wants “a correct reserve estimation of the block through an independent agency.”
“The work undertaken (to assess reserves in the block) by Schlumberger Data and Consulting Services in 2007 (at the behest of ONGC) is flawed and they substantially over-estimated the resources in the block,” it wrote to DGH.
Stating that it had on various occasions pointed out to the flaws, Cairn said, “It is imperative that a new study is undertaken by a third party of repute which enjoys the confidence of both ONGC and Cairn, such as DeGolyer & MacNaughton, in order to establish a correct assessment of the resources, based on which the stakeholders would be able to take appropriate decisions."
Cairn said ONGC had submitted a proposal to declare some of the discoveries in the block as commercial, a step toward developing the finds, without keeping it informed.
ONGC, it said, was submitting various proposals without prior approval of the Operating Committee (OC)—an oversight body comprising representatives of both partners. Submission of proposals without OC approval is a violation of the Production Sharing Contract and Joint Operating Agreement.
Cairn claims that an innovative production method has to be worked out for the block in discussion with the DGH and the oil ministry.
It also questioned the basis on which ONGC is seeking an extension of the appraisal period, which was completed as per the provisions of the PSC. It has asked for re-submission of the Declarations of Commerciality for the discoveries made in the block as well.
ONGC bought 90% interest in Block KG-DWN-98/2 from Cairn Energy India in 2005. Cairn still holds 10% in the block. Before selling most of its stake and giving away operatorship of the block, Cairn made four discoveries in the area—Padmavati, Kanakdurga, N-1 and R-1 (Annapurna).
Subsequently, ONGC made six significant discoveries—E-1, A1, U1, W1, D-1/KT-1 and the first ultra-deepwater discovery UD-1 at a record depth of 2,841 metres.
The block is divided into a Northern Discovery Area (NDA) and Southern Discovery Area (SDA). The NDA comprises discoveries like Padmavati, Kanakdurga, D, E, U, A, while the ultra deep-sea UD find lies in SDA.
Even ONGC has acknowledged that the NDA discoveries are small to marginal and cannot be developed on a standalone basis due to high deepwater development costs. Accordingly, it is proposing to develop the discoveries in an integrated cluster.
Sources said the ONGC Declaration of Commerciality (DOC) of NDA on 15 July 2010, was submitted without OC approval and so was the DOC of SDA on 21 December 2009.
The DGH, they said, wants a fresh proposal for DOC to be submitted by the operator after completion of the proposed appraisal drilling programme by 16 July 2013, in case of NDA and by 22 December 2012, in case of SDA, or by 16 July 2013, for both the NDA and SDA.
Powers to tap phones, issuance of letters rogatory and recommendations for changes in work practices to reduce scope for corruption are among the proposals made by the Anna Hazare team in their Jan Lokpal Bill which do not find a mention in the government draft
New Delhi: Powers to tap phones, issuance of letters rogatory and recommendations for changes in work practices to reduce scope for corruption are among the proposals made by the Anna Hazare team in their Jan Lokpal Bill which do not find a mention in the government draft, reports PTI.
The draft submitted to the joint committee on the Lokpal Bill by the Hazare team also seeks power to the proposed ombudsman to acquire modern equipment necessary for proper investigation and inquire into the assets declaration statements filed by all MPs.
According to the Jan Lokpal Bill, an appropriate bench of Lokpal shall be deemed to be “designated authority under Section V of the Indian Telegraph Act empowered to approve interception and monitoring of messages of data or voice transmitted through telephones, Internet or any other medium...”
In the powers and functions of the Lokpal and its officers section of the civil society’s draft, the ombudsman can authorise a bench of the Lokpal to issue letters rogatory in relation to any case pending investigation.
This provision is in contrast to the stand taken by the Hazare team in the fourth meeting of the joint drafting committee held on 23rd May when lawyer Shanti Bhushan clarified that the intent was to allow Lokpal to directly approach the court for letters rogatory and not to route such requests through the government.
Mr Bhushan’s comment came after the home minister, P Chidambaram, pointed out that the powers of issuance of letters rogatory was within the domain of the courts. A letter rogatory is a formal request from a court to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance.
Reacting to the IMD’s forecast on Tuesday that monsoon rains are expected to be below normal at 95% of the Long Period Average, with margin for error of plus or minus 4%, finance minister said: “Let us wait for some more time”
New Delhi: Allaying concerns over the forecast of ‘below normal’ monsoon rains during the current season, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the projections are only a shade below the annual average, reports PTI.
“Let us wait for some more time,” Mr Mukherjee told reporters here on a query related to the monsoon rains.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) yesterday said monsoon rains are expected to be below normal at 95% of the Long Period Average (LPA), with margin for error of plus or minus 4%.
A below normal monsoon can have a serious fallout on agricultural input.
“They (IMD) are saying it would be around 95% and normal average is 98%,” the finance minister said.
In April, during the first monsoon forecast, the government had said the monsoon would be normal, with the rainfall likely to be 98% of the LPA, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5%.
Monsoon rains from June to September are a key factor for global commodities markets, as they influence output of various crops in India, which is among the world’s leading producers and consumers of wheat, rice, sugar and edible oils.
The monsoon rains are crucial for summer-sown crops, as about 60% of the country’s agriculture is dependent on rains. Due to a widespread drought in 2009-10 and a dearth of rainfall in some parts of the country in 2010-11, paddy production had suffered.