Govt Panels to Monitor ONGC, Oil India Fields
STRATEGY IS TO MAKE COS ACCOUNTABLE AND BOOST OUTPUT FROM AGEING FIELDS
The government is going to monitor oilfields of ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) and hasd ordered the setting up of separate committees, led by a bureaucrat, for supervision as part of its broader plan to make these firms more accountable and boost output from their ageing fields, which contribute 70 per cent of India's crude output.
The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the technical arm of the oil ministry, has ordered the constitution of `review committees for the purpose of management of oil and gas resources of nomination fields' of ONGC and Oil India respectively'. Each panel will be chaired by the Director General of DGH and include another official of DGH and top executives of the oil company, according to the 25th May order. ONGC and Oil India must name their nominees within a fortnight of the order.
The committee has the power to review all key matters such as annual work programmes and budgets for exploration, development and production, field development plans of commercial discoveries, and performance of producing or non-producing fields.
Proposals for surrender of acreage, appraisal programme, declaration of commercial discovery, “field surveillance“by DGH would also go to the committee. The panel would also review collaboration with licensees or contractors of other areas.
The decision of the committee will be implemented by ONGC and Oil India and the progress of implementation reported to the committee through the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons at its next meeting, the Director General of DGH said in the order.
With such close supervision, the oil and gas ministry hopes to make ONGC and Oil India Ltd more efficient and accountable, resulting in the imrpovement of falling crude output.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan recently said that the fields nominated to ONGC and Oil India Ltd have not attracted much official scrutiny in the past and his plan now was to closely monitor these fields and make the companies more accountable.
The fields were given to state firms without auction or production sharing contracts before the sector was opened up to private investment in the 1990s.