Exxon Mobil to buy stake in Indian oil, gas fields: Pradhan

3 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Energy supermajor Exxon Mobil Corp is in talks to buy a stake in producing oil and gas fields in India, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday showcasing efforts to raise domestic output to cut imports.

Exxon Mobil had in October last year signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to offer its expertise and technology for developing resources in offshore blocks, report agencies.

Speaking at a webinar series on ‘The Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat’ organised by Swarajya Magazine, he said India is looking to replicate the  Texas model of raising domestic oil and gas production by involving small and mid-sized companies in exploration and production.

“Till 2014, the total acreage given for exploration and production (of oil and gas) was about 90,000 square kilometers. In two rounds of auction of small discovered fields (DSF) and five rounds of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), an additional 1.65 lakh sq km of the area has been offered,” he said.

The US shale oil and gas revolution was not brought about by big companies. “Small companies have developed the Texas shale oil and gas sector. We are envisaging a similar scenario in India through progressive policy and involving a lot of small and mid-sized companies,” he said.

But large companies would obviously be there, he said adding UK supermajor BP is investing USD 5 billion bringing to production the next wave of gas discoveries in KG basin block KG-D6. Also, Shell and Total are present in India.

“Exxon Mobil is in active discussion with some of our companies to participate in some of our producing fields,” he said without giving details.