India's oil industry

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"India and China in the next few years will be in direct competition with America and European Union for oil and natural gas from all over the world specially Middle East. The bottom line is that who ever gets to use the oil, will grow faster and eventually dominate the world." --Sonia Chaturvedi wrote in India Daily, February 16, 2005.

Cooperative Venture

"India and China, the most aggressive shoppers for oil and gas assets in the world, and normally archrivals in the race for overseas oilfields, have finally come together to pursue their energy security in the global arena," Indrajit Basu reported in the December 22, 2005, Asia Times.

"China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the two largest oil companies in the respective countries, announced on December 20 that they had jointly won a bid to acquire 37% of Petro-Canada's stake in Syrian oilfields for US$573 million. ONGC and CNPC, both state-owned, will have equal stakes in the al-Furat oil and gas fields," Basu wrote.

Although CNPC and ONGC "have been working together as joint operators in Sudan for the last three years," this will be "the first time, then, that an Indian company [will] acquire an oil property along with a Chinese company," Basu wrote.

New Natural Gas Fields: Krishna-Godavari Basin

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), India's state-owned and biggest company, said in February 2004, that it had "struck natural gas in deep water in the Bay of Bengal, ... in an exploration block in the Krishna-Godavari basin, about 38 kilometers (24 miles) off the coast," CNN reported.

"ONGC said its deep-sea rig Sagar Vijay found the large gas-bearing structure in an area known as G4-AB, near a gas-bearing prospect operated by Reliance Industries.

"The find is at a depth of 1,650 to 2,130 meters (5,413 to 6,988 feet), it said. ... ONGC said test results showed a flow rate of 14.42 million cubic feet a day from the well, the first it has drilled in the area." [1]

In June 2005, a new gas reserve, "found at the basin of the Krishna and Godavari rivers in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh," was projected to "yield 20 trillion cubic feet of gas, said Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the top elected leader in western Gujarat state," Associated Press writer Rupak Sanyal reported. Modi said that the discovery "will overnight almost double the current gas production of the entire country."

The discovery was made by a "consortium led by state-run Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd.," which "has a 80 percent stake in the consortium, while Canada's Geoglobal Resources Inc. and India's Jubilant Enpro each own 10 percent, a Gujarat government statement said." Until the June discovery, a "gas reserve owned by private Reliance Energy with an estimated 14 trillion cubic feet of gas was previously the country's largest reserve." [2]

"Commercial production is expected to begin by 2007, Modi said. The new discovery is expected to significantly ease the country's gas shortages. India currently has two terminals for liquefied natural gas. Owned by Shell and an Indian consortium, they import gas from Australia and Qatar before liquifying it and supplying it through pipelines to Indian customers -- mainly fertilizer, power and steel plants." [3]

On September 3, 2005, the ONGC announced the discovery of a new "reasonably big" natural gas field "during drilling operations" in the Bay of Bengal, "off the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state ... [located] next to a major natural gas field owned by India's biggest private firm [and India's largest private sector gas explorer], Reliance Industries."

Development Talks

The BBC reported October 17, 2005, that BP p.l.c., ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil "are said to be in talks" with Reliance Industries, about "developing the huge area" in the Krishna Godavari basin. The BBC said that "Energy experts estimate that the field, India's largest gas discovery in 30 years, is worth $4bn (£2.2bn)."

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