On June 10th, 2021, India’s flagship oil and gas explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France’s TotalEnergies for deepwater exploration in the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the east coast of India. The MoU was signed under the Host Government Agreement (HGA) of the Indian government’s New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).
The MoU was signed by Mr. Shashi Shanker, Chairman & Managing Director, ONGC and Mr. Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production of TotalEnergies, in the presence of Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel in the Government of India, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, and Mr. Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness of France.
The collaboration between ONGC and TotalEnergies marks a significant milestone in the global energy sector as India moves towards achieving its target of reducing the country’s dependence on crude oil imports by 10% to 67% by 2022. This joint venture will leverage ONGC’s vast expertise in the field of exploration and production, along with TotalEnergies’ global expertise in deepwater exploration, to explore and develop hydrocarbon resources in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
The Krishna-Godavari basin is a prolific petroleum-rich basin in the Bay of Bengal off the east coast of India, and is known to have significant untapped deepwater potential. The basin has been a major contributor to the country’s oil and gas production, and ONGC has been actively exploring and producing hydrocarbons in this region for over three decades.
The MoU with TotalEnergies will enable ONGC to further expand its exploration and production activities in the deepwater region of the Krishna-Godavari basin, which is estimated to hold significant reserves of oil and gas. The collaboration will also help ONGC to enhance its technological capabilities and improve its ability to extract hydrocarbon resources in challenging geographies.
TotalEnergies, on the other hand, will gain access to a new oil and gas province, which has immense potential for the development of deepwater reserves. The company has a proven track record in deepwater exploration and production, and this partnership with ONGC will enable it to leverage its technical expertise to extract hydrocarbon resources in the Krishna-Godavari basin.
The collaboration between ONGC and TotalEnergies is in line with the Indian Government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India, where it seeks to reduce its dependence on imports and develop indigenous capabilities to achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector. The project is expected to create new job opportunities and boost the local economy, as well as increase the country’s energy security by reducing its dependence on crude oil imports.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shashi Shanker, Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC, said, “The partnership will enable the two companies to work together and benefit from each other’s strengths in deepwater exploration and production. This collaboration is aligned with our company’s objective of maximising India’s hydrocarbon potential and reducing the country’s dependence on imports.”
Mr. Arnaud Breuillac, President Exploration & Production of TotalEnergies, said, “TotalEnergies has a well-established presence in India and has been working with ONGC for several years. We are excited about the potential of the Krishna-Godavari basin and look forward to working with ONGC to unlock the full potential of this region.”
The signing of the MoU between ONGC and TotalEnergies is a significant step towards the development of deepwater reserves and underscores the importance of international collaboration in the global energy sector. This partnership is expected to spur growth in the Indian energy sector and help the country become self-reliant in the energy sector. It will also serve as a catalyst for innovation and technological advancement, as the companies work together to develop new technologies for hydrocarbon exploration and production in challenging geographies.
In conclusion, the collaboration between ONGC and TotalEnergies is a strategic partnership that will enable both companies to leverage their respective strengths and expertise to unlock the full potential of the Krishna-Godavari basin. This partnership is expected to create new job opportunities, boost the local economy, increase India’s energy security and help the country achieve its objective of becoming self-reliant in the energy sector.