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ONGC CMD flags global contributions of Indian geoscientists during media interaction at GeoIndia 2022

GEOIndia 2022 - the 5th South Asian Geosciences Conference and Exhibition is being organized by the Association of Petroleum Geologists (APG) India at JECC, Jaipur, from 14 October 2022 to 16 October 2022. To mark the beginning of the three-day event, a press conference was organized on 13 October.  The purpose of the press conference was to establish an interactive forum for the media persons to discuss the details about the event. The press conference was chaired by Mr Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC & patron, APG, Mr S N Chitnis (Executive Director in ONGC), ED-Head Geopic & APG-President, and Dr Ravi Misra, ED-Exploration and Development Directorate. Referring to the fact that how Indian geoscientists have built the oil industry from the scratch, the contributions of Indian scientists was highlighted during the press conference.  The press conference also laid down the importance of exhibitions like GEOIndia, that is knowledge sharing, which can lead us to the more sustainable ways of fulfilling the energy needs.

ED-Exploration and Development Directorate Dr Ravi Misra (left), CMD (ONGC) Rajesh Kumar Srivastava (center), and APG-President S N Chitnis (right) addressing the media interaction of GEOIndia 2022 ED-Exploration and Development Directorate Dr Ravi Misra (left), CMD (ONGC) Rajesh Kumar Srivastava (center), and APG-President S N Chitnis (right) addressing the media interaction of GEOIndia 2022

Addressing the press conference Mr Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC & patron, APG, highlighted the importance of the three-day GEOIndia events. He also took the questions from the media fraternity regarding the exhibition and the hydrocarbon industry of India.  In the press conference, Mr Srivastava said that the GEOIndia conference has grown in stature in the last 15 years as an international conference.

During the media interaction event, Mr Srivastava also said, “In the GEOIndia conference, we will have a host of luminaries representing prominent policy makers, top management personnel from International Oil Companies (IOCs) and National Oil Companies (NOCs), service providers, and leading academicians to provide carefully chartered plenary sessions and three panel discussions.”  “Apart from India, more than a hundred geology and geophysics experts from other countries, including the USA, Norway and UK, are going to attend this conference. These kind of conferences are useful to share the knowledge and technology regarding the petroleum sector which is very much needed to fulfill the growing demand of energy across the country,” he added.

Talking on the theme of GEOIndia 2022, Mr Srivastava said the conference will brainstorm on the role of oil and gas in the context of energy transition in the fast-changing world. Hence, ‘Fossil Fuels, Decarbonization and Changing Energy Dynamics’ is chosen as a theme for the conference.”

Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC, addressing the gathering Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC, addressing the gathering

Speaking about the oil and gas industry, Mr Srivastava highlighted the role of ONGC in fulfilling the energy requirements of India.  He said, “Since its inception the contribution of ONGC towards the development of India has been immense”.  “Except one, all the producing oil and gas basins in India has been discovered by ONGC only,” he added.

Referring to the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP), Mr Srivastava said that for the last few years the Government of India has been trying to boost the petroleum and hydrocarbon sector in India by reforming the policies regarding it.

Speaking on the future of oil and gas industry, Mr Srivastava talked about the 26 sedimentary basins in India which are divided into three categories based on maturity of hydrocarbon resources as under i.e. Basins, which have reserves and already producing, Basins, which have contingent resources pending commercial production and Basins, which have prospective resources awaiting discovery.

He said, “There is enough oil and gas left to be produced from the basins in India. The Government of India is helping the energy sector by taking different initiatives.” “Conferences like GEOIndia provides the platform to share new ideas and inventions which is needed for extracting the most of oil and gas from the earth and to boom the economy,” he added.

Mr Srivastava expressed his happiness talking about the latest agreement between ONGC and ExxonMobil for deepwater exploration in India and many such recent developments in the oil and gas industry.  Talking about the recent visit of Hon’ble Minister of PNG and Housing and Urban Affairs Mr Hardeep S Puri to the United States for strategic clean energy partnership, Mr Srivastava said that looking at the contemporary challenges of environment degradation and global warming we are committed to minimize the carbon footprint from the energy sector of India.

Addressing the media interaction, APG-President & ED-Head Geopic Mr S N Chitnis informed that over 200 technical papers will be presented in the conference, which is being participated by over 1500 geoscientists and 600 delegates. “Apart from presentation of technical papers, plenary discussions will be held by global experts in this conference to achieve the goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions together with production of HC to meet the energy requirement of India in the future,” he added. 

APG President S N Chitnis addressing the event APG President S N Chitnis addressing the event

Apart from talking about the GEOIndia conference, Mr Chitnis talked about the Association of Petroleum Geologists (APG) India and its importance. He also shared the importance of the two field workshops that is part of the pre-conference training organized at Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh districts of Rajasthan.

Responding to a journalist about the objectives of the GEOIndia conference, Mr Srivastava said that looking at the changing dynamics of India where the demand for energy is constantly increasing and the environment is also at its worst state, there are some crucial questions to address i.e. can the alternative energies replace the oil and gas industry ? What are the ways to minimize the carbon footprints from earth? “GEOIndia will provide a space for the renowned experts from across the world to discuss the latest developments for sustainable energy and address such queries,” he added.

Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC responding to the queries of the press Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, CMD, ONGC responding to the queries of the press

When another journalist asked about the benefits of GEOIndia exhibition for the people of Rajasthan, Mr Srivastava said that such exhibitions not only bridges the knowledge gap but also provides a platform for students and the young professionals who are associated to the energy sector. He said, “ONGC has found few oil and gas fields in Rajasthan, very soon we may start the production in the state.”

Responding to some common queries like why India is being dependent on other countries for crude oil and natural gas, Mr Srivastava said that every country has its own characteristics. He said, “We have been an agrarian society. The common understanding during the 1950s was that India did not have any oil. But the geo scientists of India proved it wrong and built oil industry from scratch.” “Since we as a country have grown a lot, our consumption and demand for energy is drastically increased.  So, we will have to be dependent on the other countries to meet our energy needs but through shifting to the alternative sources of energy we can surely minimize the import of hydrocarbons,” he added.

When a journalist asked why ONGC had chosen Jaisalmer for its field workshops, Mr Srivastava responded saying that Jaisalmer comes under one of the 26 sedimentary basins we have in India and it is also an extension of one our discovered oil and gas fields. “To train our workforce according to the structure of our basin, such workshops are important,” he added.

Mr Srivastava highlighted the achievements of intellectual talents of India, particularly of the geoscientists when a journalist raised doubts upon the capabilities of scientists in India. He said, “I want to clear this misconception that the geo scientists in India are not good enough.” “Science and technology coming from Indian diaspora has been recognized across the globe. ExxonMobil wants to work with the Indian scientists is one of the many examples that prove the excellence of Indian geoscientists,” he added.

SN Chitnis responding to the queries of the press SN Chitnis responding to the queries of the press

Responding to one of the queries from journalists of how geo science is evolving for sustainable development, Mr Chitnis said, “There are various aspects of sustainability. Earlier we used carbon based energies then we shifted to the hydrocarbons and then to the gas”. “So, sustainability is an ongoing process, the carbon emission will keep decreasing with the advancement of geoscience and event like GEO India plays an important role in it,” he added.

The press conference was compered by ED-Chief CC Harish Awal.

Some glimpses of the event Some glimpses of the event