ONGC inks MoU with ISOR of Iceland for Exploration and Development of geothermal energy in India
Taking a significant step towards the exploration and development of geothermal energy in India, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Iceland GeoSurvey (ÍSOR) in New Delhi on 7 June 2023.
The MoU was signed by ONGC Executive Director-Chief BD&JV (Downstream, Petrochemical and New Energy), D Adhikari, and CEO of Techon Consulting Engineers, Ranjit Kumar, representing Iceland GeoSurvey, in the presence of ONGC Chairman & CEO Arun Kumar Singh and the Ambassador of Iceland in India His Excellency Gudni Bragason. The ceremony also witnessed the presence of Director (Technical & Field Services) Om Prakash Singh, Director (Production) Pankaj Kumar, Director (Exploration) Sushma Rawat, and Director (Human Resources) Manish Patil, senior executives of ONGC and embassy officials of Iceland.
ONGC ED-Chief BD&JV, D Adhikari (right) signing MoU with Ranjit Kumar from Iceland GeoSurvey, in the presence of
ONGC Chairman & CEO Arun Kumar Singh and the Ambassador of Iceland in India His Excellency Gudni Bragason (left)
Welcoming the ÍSOR representatives to Deendayal Urja Bhawan, ONGC Chairman and CEO Arun Kumar Singh remarked that ONGC is looking to do something big in geothermal energy. “Your experience will help us in achieving our Net-Zero goal; this will be a big step towards Scope-1 and Scope-2 compliance”, he said.
Inviting the ONGC team to visit Iceland to first-hand experience their expertise developed over almost a century, Ambassador Gudni Bragason opined that, “This MoU is an important step in our collaboration and we are optimistic to expand the relationship which started from the ONGC Ladakh Project. This is in line with the national policies of both countries to expand renewable production. We are excited to bring the knowhow to India, which will benefit both entities.”
This collaborative agreement between ONGC and ÍSOR aligns with the formation of a Task Force during the India-Nordic Summit held in 2022 in Copenhagen. The governments of India and Iceland initiated this Task Force with the purpose of exploring and developing geothermal energy resources in India. The MoU acts as a comprehensive framework for cooperation, facilitating joint efforts in the exploration and development of geothermal energy at mutually agreed-upon locations within India.
Director (Production) Pankaj Kumar recalled that ONGC’s collaboration with ÍSOR started in the month of October 2022, and today, “we have reached a big milestone”.
A specialized consulting and research institute based in Reykjavík, Iceland, ÍSOR offers expert services to the Icelandic power industry, the Icelandic government, and foreign companies, with a particular focus on geothermal sciences and utilization. ISOR and ONGC have joined forces to collaborate in this field.
Director (Exploration) Sushma Rawat said that ONGC has a good idea of geothermal, while doing oil and gas exploration and production. “Apart from Ladakh, there are many other places where geothermal energy can be tapped. ONGC has a good amount of data relating to geothermal energy, and we are looking forward to learn from Iceland.”
In addition to promoting geothermal energy, this MoU represents a significant milestone in ONGC's pursuit of renewable energy targets outlined in its Energy Strategy 2040. ONGC aims to achieve a renewable energy capacity of 10 GW by 2030 and strives to reach net-zero carbon emissions for scope 1 and 2 by 2038. To fulfil these objectives, ONGC plans to diversify its portfolio by venturing into various renewable energy sectors, including solar, wind, green hydrogen, geothermal, and other sustainable sources. By expanding into the renewables space, ONGC aims to mitigate long-term risks associated with its existing portfolio and reduce its carbon footprint.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) marks another significant milestone in the advancement of geothermal
energy collaboration between India and Iceland Left to Right: Director (T&FS) OP Singh, DG-ONGC Energy Centre Ravi,
Commercial Counsellor (Iceland Embassy) Rahul Chongtham, Deputy Chief of Mission (Iceland Embassy) Kristin Anna Tryggvadottir,
Techon Consulting Engineers CEO Ranjit Kumar, Ambassador Gudni Bragason, ONGC Chairman & CEO Arun Kumar Singh,
ED- Chief BD&JV D Adhikari, Director (Production) Pankaj Kumar, Director (Exploration) Sushma Rawat & Director (HR) Manish Patil
Joining the signing ceremony through video conferencing, ÍSOR geologist Dadi Thorbjörnsson stated, “This MoU is a meaningful step in exploring geothermal energy in India. We are fortunate to participate in this national-level collaboration.”
The collaboration between ONGC and ÍSOR not only signifies the commitment to harnessing geothermal energy potential in India but also underscores the importance of international partnerships in achieving sustainable energy goals. Through this MoU, ONGC aims to leverage the expertise and experience of ISOR to advance the geothermal energy sector in India, contributing to the nation's transition towards cleaner and greener energy sources.
In order to harness the Geothermal energy potential in India, ONGC and ISOR intend to work together in the following areas:
- Geothermal mapping of mutually agreed prospective sites in India
- Exploration and Development of Shallow and Deep wells at Puga/ Chhumathang (Ladakh) and other mutually agreed locations.
- Thermal Recovery from ONGC's depleted oil wells in Western Onshore and HT/HP Offshore/Onshore Wells in KG Basin and other prospective mutually agreed areas if any.
- Capacity Building Program in cooperation with UNESCO Geothermal Training Program in Iceland through Technical Workshop / On-line courses/ Training in Iceland
- Development of hybrid power project (geothermal + wind/solar)
- Promotion and Development of multipurpose use of geothermal energy
- Other related activity with mutual consent of parties
ED-Chief BD&JV (Downstream, Petrochemical and New Energy) D Adhikari added that the Energy Maharatna has constituted a Joint-Member Committee to take this collaboration forward.