OVL is the sole licensee of Block-8, a large on-land exploration Block in Western Desert, Iraq spread over 1.5 sq km. The Exploration & Development Contract (EDC) for the Block was signed on 28th November, 2000. The contract was ratified by the Government of Iraq on 22nd April, 2001 and was effective from 15th May 2001. Since then, the work relating to archival, reprocessing and interpretation of the existing seismic data has been completed. However, OVL had to notify the force majeure situation to the Ministry of Oil, Iraq in April, 2003 due to prevailing conditions in Iraq. In 2008, OVL was informed that Government of Iraq had decided to re-negotiate the Block-8 contract in line with the provisions of the new oil and gas law which was expected to be promulgated soon. Re-negotiation is yet to commence. Till then OVL is following up the matter with Iraqian authorities.
The exploration phase for the block expired on 28th September, 2011. The consortium over achieved the physical work commitment by drilling a total of 14 wells in the Block in this phase. During the financial year of 2012, the consortium drilled 7 exploratory wells, out of which 3 wells flowed oil and gas and 1 well showed presence of hydrocarbon. Extended production testing of three exploratory wells in Abu Khashab area was carried out to acquire reservoir data and also to know its production potential. 1 development well was also drilled during the current financial year of 2012. Based on the exploration results, the Government of Syria granted development rights for additional areas of three formations in Abu Khashab area. Presently, Plan of Development (PoD) of Abu Khashab area is being prepared by the operator. Further, the consortium’s request for granting of development right for Romman Area is under active considerations of the Syrian Authorities. Meanwhile, the operator has invoked ‘Force Majeure’ in the Block with effect from 30th April, 2012 citing effects of US sanctions and deteriorating law and order situation in the operational areas. Rashid Field has been under extended production testing with an average rate of production of 180 BOPD. However, due to worsening law and order situation in and around Rashid field, the facilities have been shut down with effect from 13th June, 2012.
Later, when thousands of feet of organic-rich shales have piled up over millions of years, and the dead animal bodies are buried very deep (more than two miles down), an amazing thing happens. The heat from deep inside the earth “cooks” the animals, turning their bodies into what we call hydrocarbons……oil and natural gas.
At first, the oil and gas only exist between the shale particles as extremely tiny blobs, left over from the decay of the tiny animals. Then, the intense pressure of the earth squeezes the oil and gas out of the shale, and the oil and gas fluids gather together in a porous layer and move sideways many miles. On their way, they may meet up with other traveling oil or gas fluids.
Finally, the oil and gas may become “trapped” in a rock formation like sandstone or limestone….a hydrocarbon trap. The oil and gas stay there, under tremendous pressure, until the petroleum geologist comes looking for it. Without a trap, the geologist has no place to drill. All oil and gas deposits are held in some sort of trap.
Taking into consideration India’s liberalisation policy and dismantling of the Administered Pricing Mechanism (APM), OIL expanded its business activities both within and outside the country, adding hydrocarbon related ventures like gas based power generation to its portfolio.
Acquisition of oil and gas assets requires environmental exploitation. With growing concerns for environment and climate changes across the globe, certain measures and precautions are taken up so that environment is not made a scapegoat for economic development. This report throws light on the environmental, political, economic and other risks that Indian companies face while undertaking the trade of acquisition of oil and gas abroad and also examines the measures that have often been adopted to deal with the risks.
Though OVL has assets in over a dozen countries, it has to be considered whether it makes sense to buy into oil projects or whether to save the cash and buy oil on spot and negotiated rates from global suppliers. China prefers to acquire assets, Japan opts to buy oil, instead. India does both. It is pointless to pose this question to OVL, because its mandate is to acquire and operate oil and gas properties overseas.
The Indian sub-continent has been undergoing an accelerated growth in the recent past. In spite of the global economic slowdown, the average growth rate of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the period 2006-09, was about 8.6 per cent. The corresponding average growth rates of net national income and personal disposable income were 14.5 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively. India’s per capita energy consumption is 383 Kg of Oil Equivalent (KGOE) as against the world average of 1,737 KGOE, which indicates a significant potential for growth in the demand for energy. As per the Integrated Energy Policy of the Planning Commission, Government of India, India’s energy need is expected to grow four-fold from 433 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (MTOE) to around 1,856 MTOE by 2032. However, India depends largely on imports with over 75% of oil and 16% of gas consumption being imported. The Government of India is keen to increase the per capita consumption of energy to raise living standard of country. Higher economic growth is driving income growth, which in turn is driving up industrial investment and fuel consumption. In general, demand exceeds supply and there is a broad-based energy shortage, which is either met by imports or remains unmet. Oil and gas merger and acquisition value and count is shown below in the graphical representation:
It is often mulled over whether India should acquire oil and gas assets abroad or just import crude oil. Assessing the current scenario, OVL has purchased 8.4% of the giant Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan for US$ 5 billion. Located in the north Caspian Sea, this is the world's largest oil discovery since 1968, with reserves estimated to be as high as 30 billion barrels. With crude prices at US$100 per barrel, OVL will recover the full value of its investment in a little more than six years. If prices fall, it will take longer. The deal is for 25 years.
ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), the flagship national oil company of India. Its primary business is to prospect for oil and gas acreages abroad including acquisition of oil and gas fields, exploration, development, production, transportation and export of oil and gas.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is engaged in oil diplomacy through negotiations with Governments of other nations, Inter-Governmental Commissions, Joint Working Groups and region-specific events like the India-Africa Hydrocarbon Conference. Indian oil PSUs are being constantly encouraged to adopt a global vision in their pursuit of raw materials and raw material-producing assets abroad, and to pursue acquisition of oil and gas assets overseas. At present, India’s oil companies are undertaking the act of acquisition of assets in more than twenty countries including Vietnam, Russia, Sudan, Myanmar, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Cuba, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Gabon, Colombia, Nigeria Sao Tome Principe, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Venezuela, Oman, Yemen, Australia and Timor-Leste. The total investment by oil PSUs overseas is Rs. 64, 832 crore which includes two pipeline projects in Sudan and Myanmar. OVL’s purchase of Imperial Energy is the largest acquisition of a foreign company by oil PSU. They produced 9.4 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in 2010-11 (which is equal to 22% of domestic oil production) from its assets in Sudan, Vietnam, Venezuela, Russia, Syria and Colombia. By 2020, OVL is expected to exceed an annual production level of 20 MMTOE.