NEW DELHI : Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Shell India-owned BG Exploration and Production India Ltd (BGEPIL) will transfer their entire stake in Panna-Mukta oil and gas fields to state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) on 21 December. RIL, BG Exploration and ONGC have been operating the Panna-Mukta fields in a joint venture for the past 25 years.

In the Panna-Mukta and Tapti (PMT) joint venture, ONGC held 40% stake, while RIL and BG Exploration owned 30% stake each. BG Exploration is a subsidiary of Shell India.

“The production sharing contracts (PSC) for the Panna-Mukta and Tapti fields, which were executed by the PMT JV with the government of India in 1994, will expire on 21 December 2019. The Tapti fields had ceased production earlier in 2016 and the Tapti process platform facilities were handed over to ONGC (a government nominee) in 2016," RIL said in a regulatory filing.

The PMT joint venture, under India’s first offshore decommissioning and site restoration project, is currently carrying out decommissioning and site restoration of residual Tapti facilities, including five unmanned platforms and in-field pipelines, RIL said. The Tapti decommissioning and other commercial activities would continue in BG Exploration even after handover of stake in the Panna-Mukta fields, RIL added.

“At its peak, Panna-Mukta has contributed to nearly 6% of India’s oil production and almost 7% of India’s gas production in the year 2007-08. Reliance has been a part of this journey and contributed, by providing energy, to the growth and development of India’s oil and gas sector," said B Ganguly, president at RIL’s exploration and production vertical.

“The PMT JV is a great example of a successful partnership between India’s largest national oil company (ONGC), India’s largest private company (Reliance) and an international oil company (Shell). Shell is proud to have been part of this journey and privileged to have partnered with Reliance, ONGC and the government of India," BGEPIL Managing Director Trivikram Arun said. “Our teams have worked relentlessly to ensure a safe handover of the producing fields from the PMT JV to ONGC at the end of the term."

The PMT fields were the first fields in India to be operated under a joint operatorship model. The Panna-Mukta fields, located off the Mumbai coast, have produced 211 million barrels of oil and 1.25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since December 1994.

In 2019, the average monthly production from the fields was 10,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 140 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas.

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