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Speaking on “India and the World: Quest for Oil and Gas” at the 9th edition of World Energy Policy Summit on 4 February 2022, Managing Director and CEO of ONGC Videsh Limited Alok Kumar Gupta said that, amidst the energy transition, ONGC and its overseas arm OVL is focusing on chartering a path in a manner where we embrace technologies while producing oil & gas by reducing the carbon footprint.

“ONGC and OVL is trying to have adoptive approach to continue to produce oil and gas or acquire oil from overseas as our demand is expected to double up in the next 15 to 20 years, while subsequently trying to work on measures to contain global warming,” said Mr Gupta during “Head-to-Head” interaction with Chairman of Independent Energy Policy Institute Narendra Taneja.

OVL MD Alok Kumar Gupta during “Head-to-Head” interaction with Chairman of Independent Energy Policy Institute Narendra Taneja at WEPS 2022
OVL MD Alok Kumar Gupta during “Head-to-Head” interaction with Chairman of Independent Energy Policy Institute Narendra Taneja at WEPS 2022

The OVL MD said that the energy transition is mostly driven by global warming which is a major challenge for the world at large. However, he mentioned that India in another end of the spectrum of the transition as the nation with its vast population and growing energy demands will have to continue to be dependent on oil and gas for at least 25 to 30 years in the future.

“India, with its aspiration to become $5 trillion economy in next two three years and $10 trillion economy by 2030, has a need to keep producing energy while there is a need to contain global warming too. We are working closely with partner companies worldwide to look at possibilities for carbon capture and to smoothly transit to renewable sources,” said Mr Gupta, mentioning that the energy transition will last for long and we have to continue relying on oil and gas during this transition.

Mr Gupta asserted that OVL is looking forward for clean energy and at a larger scale its parent company ONGC is taking major steps for developing renewables. “Meanwhile, we are looking towards bringing technologies in our operations to bring down carbon intensity to the lowest level,” he added.

Alok Kumar Gupta speaking on strategies of India’s quest for oil & gas amidst the energy transition
Alok Kumar Gupta speaking on strategies of India’s quest for oil & gas amidst the energy transition

Over the declining investments in the E&P sector amidst the energy transition, Mr Gupta noted that tightening measures are being adopted by financial institutions or international lenders to see that they play a part in how to contain global warming. But not many major challenges have been faced by OVL in terms of financing. “We have raised about three and half to four billion dollars over the last 3-4 years. There are now more responsibilities no on the shoulders of E&P professionals for going forward with their plans for harnessing new resources or exploring them,” he said.

“No doubt that the E&P sector is under restriction and the investments in the sector has also gone down over the years. This can be because of the over-reaction towards the energy transition as no one is sure how it will unfold going forward. Also the oil prices have been going down, affecting the investments. But the over-reaction will settle down over the years as people will gradually realize that the transition to take place will take about 25-30 years in India,” he added.

Mr Gupta further mentioned that OVL is focusing on the immediate requirement to acquire producing assets which are under near-term development since a few of its assets are reaching the end of the contract term. “In the mid-term we have to look at assets which are coming on stream in next three to four years and also supplement by start of some organic development activities through exploration.”

He said that the Assets which have delivered sustained and durable performance are the assets which are acquired organically in terms of exploration. He cited OVL assets at Vietnam, Myanmar, Columbia and Brazil which were all exploration blocks. “OVL is adopting three strategic angles – organic growth through exploration, finding discovered projects which has to get into production in the short or medium term and acquisition of some discovered properties which might have a slightly longer term horizon as well,” he noted.

Mr Gupta asserted that in the next 10 years, OVL is gearing up to meet the aspiration of becoming a 40 million tonne oil & gas contributing company in the next few years and strategic moves are being taken in that direction.



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