India’s biggest oil producer, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) saw a decline of 2.4% in its crude oil and 5.5% in its natural gas production in June due to declining supply from its star performer – the Mumbai High.
However, rising production from Cairn India’s Rajasthan fields more than made for the decline, leading to an overall increase of 7.7% in India’s oil production, though gas production slid by nearly 12% in June.
As a result, ONGC’s share in India’s total crude oil production fell by a whopping 6.5 percentage points — from 68.8% of India’s total production in June last year to 62.3% this time.
On the other hand, the share of the Rajasthan block, operated by Cairn India, in India’s total oil production went from around 7% to 17% from June last year to June 2011. Taken individually, the field (in which ONGC holds a 30% share) increased its oil production by 142%, more than doubling it to 0.524 million tonnes.
ONGC’s poor performance, both in oil and gas production, was attributable to a single source — India’s biggest oil and gas field called Mumbai High.
Crude production from Mumbai High fell by 5.5% in June (year on year) to 1.36 million tonnes, leading to the 2.4% decline in ONGC’s total production. Not surprisingly, the share of Mumbai High’s production in India’s overall liquid hydrocarbon production fell from 48.8% last year to 42.8% in June this year.
However, the Rajasthan block, which is predicted to replace Mumbai High as India’s main source of hydrocarbons.
Though it produces only 0.52 million tonnes of oil at present, Cairn has already sought nod for increasing produttion capacity to 1.45 million tonnes per month. If it is able to achieve that level, it would comfortable overtake the 1.36 million tonnes production from Mumbai High.
The extra 1 million tonnes of crude would bump up India’s total crude production by 50%.
Besides the Rajasthan block, Oil India too did very well in production. Its oil production went from 0.26 million tonnes in June 2010 to 0.32 million tonnes this year, a growth of 20%.
Its gas production too went from 0.18 million tonnes to 0.21 million tonnes, increasing 17% year on year. However, India’s total gas production was down from 4.5 million tonnes to 4.98 million tonnes or 10%, due to declining production in Gujarat gas fields and Mumbai High.