Offshore firms bid to revive ageing oil fields

By agencies   |   Monday, 27 March 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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GUWAHATI: Several offshore firms will bid for a contract worth almost $900 million to increase output from ageing oilfields in India's revolt-hit northeast.

Companies from Asia and West Asia are among eight overseas and 18 domestic firms that will bid for the $888 million project starting in May, a petroleum ministry official said.

“Exploration firms from China, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Dubai are among companies that have agreed to bid for the mega oil revival project,” he said.

The government hopes that by refurbishing equipment at about 300 wells, half of which are not producing, output in the next four years will rise to three million tones annually at those wells from 1.4 million tones now.

Last week Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) announced its plan to revive crude production from ageing oilfields in the northeastern state of Assam, the scene of a separatist insurgency that has claimed about 10,000 lives in the past two decades.

Commenting on this, ONGC’s onshore director, A K Hazarika said, “The prime objective of the project is to reverse the trend of declining oil production from the ageing fields of Assam.”

India produces about 30 million tones of crude oil annually, with all of Assam accounting for about five million tones. State-owned Oil India alone produces about 3.6 million tones of crude in Assam annually.

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