Low oil prices an opportunity for upstream industry – minister

While low oil prices were a challenge to the upstream industry, they also resulted in lowering the cost of exploration and related services which provided an opportunity to India to upscale production, India’s junior oil minister said.

Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state for petroleum, said that only half of India’s sedimentary basins had been explored and there was an immense potential in the remaining half. Exploration of the remaining half should be taken up on top priority in order to curb imports by ten percent by 2022, he told an international conference on oil and gas in Mumbai.

Suitable project management and technology innovation can resolve half of the problems of upstream oil companies even under the volatile price regime, he said.

K,D, Tripathi, Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said that besides conventional oil there was a need to look at the potential of unconventional sources like shale oil and gas, CBM, gas hydrates etc. The second Gas Hydrate Program which has been completed recently has shown remarkable potential, which needs to be tapped, he added.

According to ONGC Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Sarraf, this was not the first time that the oil sector was facing the challenge of low pricing. He emphasised on the need for resilience in financial, operational and portfolio management to stay afloat in the current market scenario. He stressed on the need for innovative approach and the need to monetise the marginal fields, managing the deepwater, and reversing the tide.

India imports most the crude it needs to fire its burgeoning economy and has benefitted the most from low prices that has helped it manage its trade balance.




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