India’s Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has unveiled initial gas production volumes from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC’s) flagship KG-DWN-98/2 asset, off the country’s east coast.

Puri this week said in a social media post that the U deep-water field has started “producing around 1.6 million cubic metres per day” of gas, and is expected to ramp up its volumes to 3 MMcmd.

The U deep-water field in the block’s Cluster-2 region is the first discovery to be monetised from the KG basin project, Puri noted.

While he mentioned the start-up gas volumes, operator ONGC is yet to reveal the timeframe for ramping up gas production from the prized asset.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, recently dedicated to the nation the sizeable onshore facilities of the U deep-water field, kick-starting gas production from the prolific offshore asset.

“The first well of U field — U-3-B is one of the fastest deep-water wells monetised globally in a record time of 11 months,” ONGC said.

Peak production target

The U-Field is part of the much-delayed KG-DWN-98/2 Cluster-2 development project, which envisages producing 16.6 MMcmd of gas and 78,000 barrels per day of oil at peak.

ONGC’s Cluster-2 development is valued at more than $5 billion and comprises multiple offshore facilities to be commissioned near the coast of Andhra Pradesh.

Delays

While some of the key Cluster-2 offshore facilities are nearing completion, its key offshore central processing platform is facing significant delays, owing to the financial woes of Malaysia's Sapura Energy, one of the main contractors involved with the CPP project.

ONGC has ambitious plans to scale up output from the east coast region, as it aims to arrest the declining gas production from its maturing west coast offshore fields.

Cluster 3 on radar

In addition to the Cluster-2 area, ONGC has been planning to launch the development of the KG-DWN-98/2 block’s Cluster-3 region.

At peak, the deep-water asset is expected to produce more than 35 MMcmd of gas and 78,000 bpd of crude, when all three clusters - 1, 2 and 3 - are brought on stream.

KG-DWN 98/2 lies offshore the Godavari River delta in the Bay of Bengal. It is located 35 kilometres offshore the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in water depths ranging from 300 to 3200 metres.

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