India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) could finally see first oil production from a $5-billion deepwater project in November, three years after the initial timeline.
ONGC is ready to start pumping oil from a block in the Krishna Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal this month, ONGC Director of Production, Pankaj Kumar, told Indian outlet PTI on Monday.
"We plan to start producing from the Cluster-2 project in KG-DWN-98/2 block this month and slowly ramp up," Kumar said.
The project has been delayed several times and is currently running three and a half years behind the original schedule for start-up in March 2020, after it was delayed by the pandemic.
KG-DWN-98/2, or the KG-D5 block, sits next to the KG-D6 block of India's private conglomerate Reliance Industries in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin.
ONGC initially expected to begin oil production in the KG-D5 block in March 2020. The deadline has been further extended several times. Earlier this year, an ONGC official said crude oil production could begin by June.
The timeline was subsequently pushed back to August 2023, then to September 2023, and finally, to October 2023.
Now, ONGC seems fairly confident that oil production could begin in November.
The Indian state-held oil giant has told Shapoorji Pallonji Oil & Gas (SPOG), the provider of the floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (FPSO) Armada Sterling-V, that it should prepare to receive first oil this month.
Initial oil output is expected to be around 8,000-9,000 barrels per day (bpd) from up to four wells, Kumar told PTI.
"These are extremely complex reservoirs and we need to be sure about everything before we start production," the executive said.
ONGC hopes the deepwater field and other start-ups currently in various stages of development to reverse a decline in its oil production due to maturing oilfields. India relies on crude oil imports to meet around 80% of its demand.
Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE
Woodside, Santos confirm merger talks to create $52bn energy giant
Woodside in talks with Santos to form $52 billion Australian gas giant
First oil still on track as BP spuds production well from brand-new platform off Azerbaijan
Vår Energi preparing to spud wildcat with Transocean rig