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In corporate India, ONGC is amongst the top three by market capitalization and numero uno in terms of Net Worth. The sheer size and scale of ONGC's operations and planned investments – domestic and international – is awe inspiring in the Indian context and ONGC today is a byword for Solidity, Reliability, Consistency and Delivery against heavy odds, attributes that mark ONGC out from the crowd and impart a sense of trustworthiness in the minds of various stakeholders including customers.

Much as ONGC is widely known today as an oil & gas producing entity, little known is the fact is that ONGC was the pioneer in gas marketing in independent India. The '60s, when ONGC started its gas marketing efforts, can rightly be termed as the oil era, when natural gas was produced more as a byproduct (or unwanted product) and flared away. Under such a prevailing scenario, ONGC identified the need to utilize natural gas, educated consumers and developed markets for natural gas as a saleable commodity.

Barring the Hazira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur (HBJ) pipeline, the regional gas pipeline networks in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and gas sale contracts with customers were made by ONGC. However, gas marketing was transferred by ONGC to GAIL in May'92 on the direction of GOI.

ONGC presently markets gas through two channels:

  • Bulk marketing of gas through GAIL in line with Govt.'s gas allocation and utilization policy.
  • Direct Marketing from small/ isolated pools. Based on representation made by ONGC, Govt. of India permitted ONGC in early 1997 to directly market gas up to 0.1 MMSCMD from isolated fields with the main objective of facilitating early utilization. MoP&NG has recently increased the threshold limit of peak production of small/isolated fields from 0.1 to 0.2 MMSCMD.

ONGC is directly marketing domestically produced natural gas to various consumers in the States of Tripura, Gujarat, Pondicherry (Karaikal) and Andhra Pradesh.

In tune with changing times and market dynamics, in view of the emerging importance of LNG as a source of gas for meeting the yawning demand-supply gap projected and driven by long term vision set out in the perspective plan - PP-2030 - which envisages 30% of ONGC's turnover to come from non-E&P businesses by 2030, ONGC is poised to directly enter into LNG business.

What distinguishes ONGC's efforts from others is that ONGC is evaluating opportunities in the entire LNG value chain in an integrated way starting from upstream gas sourcing to liquefaction to shipping to re-gasification to pipeline transportation till the re-gas is delivered at the customer premises.

ONGC's efforts to source gas abroad would be spearheaded by OVL as well as ONGC and efforts would be made to deliver R-LNG at the most competitive destination price possible to customers.

All efforts by ONGC in the new business initiative in the LNG space would be geared towards fulfilling the following objectives:

Affordability: Ensure that gas price at destination is affordable to the end consumers by attempting to source gas / LNG at competitive rates abroad.

Reliability: Ensure that end consumers get peace of mind as regards continued and uninterrupted supply of gas to carry out their operations leveraging ONGC's solid presence in the domestic gas industry.

Accessibility: Ensure that LNG brought to India by ONGC is accessible to grid connected end consumers throughout the country.

Watch this space for more developments on LNG business of ONGC