New Delhi, PTI. A union of ONGC officials has strongly opposed the petroleum ministry’s proposal to “plating” the company’s largest oil and gas field (Mumbai High) to foreign companies. The union says that instead of taking such a step, the government should strengthen the company and provide it with equal opportunities. ONGC’s officers’ union ‘Association of Scientific and Technical Office’ appealed to Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri against the proposal of Amar Nath, Additional Secretary (Exploration) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, to give 60 per cent stake in Mumbai High and operational international partners. Has been put The Additional Secretary has proposed to give 60 per cent stake in Basin and Satellite (B&S) offshore assets to international partners to increase production. This union represents 17,000 officers of ONGC.

The union said the company and its employees are fully engaged with the government’s objective of increasing domestic production to cut imports. To achieve this, ONGC should be provided with the same financial and regulatory regime as the private sector for oil and gas exploration. The union, in a letter to Puri on November 11, said that the gas pricing below the market price fixed by the government for ONGC’s fields should be reviewed to make production viable from small and remote areas. Also ONGC should be given the freedom to market small pools of natural gas, which is not viable in the current pricing regime.

Apart from maximizing the statutory clearances and authorizations for ONGC, other procedural aspects need to be changed to help the company take faster decisions, the letter said. Indeed, private and foreign companies do not want to take the risk of investing billions of dollars in oil exploration. Instead they want to enter established areas.

Edited By: Manish Mishra