|BPCL: On an overseas drive
A SIGNIFICANT oil discovery has been made in an ultra-deep water block off Brazil where state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Videocon Industries together hold 40 percent interest. The discovery has been estimated to hold more than...1 billion barrels of oil. The operator of the block Petrobras, Brazilian oil giant, has confirmed the Farfan-1 oil discovery in the ultra-deep waters of the Segipe-Alagoas basin, off Brazil. “The test evaluated 30 meters of turbidite sandstones formation and confirmed good reservoir characteristics featuring excellent productivity of good quality oil (38 degree API)," Petrobas said in a statement.
A fortune 500 oil refining, exploration and marketing PSU with Navratna status, BPCL has confirmed excellent productivity of good quality crude following a drilling test.
Farfan-1 is located 104 km north of Aracaju, capital of Brazilian state Sergipe. It lies in a water depth of 2476 metres, about 5 km from the Farfan discovery well.
A 51-metre reservoir was discovered at Farfan-1 well, a year after a 44-metre hydrocarbon column was found.
Indian oil majors have set their eyes on outbound acquisition drive, making deep inroads in the global maps in the last couple of years. This trend is likely to gather further momentum in the near future. Oil giants such as ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) are making rapid strides in foreign soils in their efforts to explore more and more oil fields to meet nation’s growing energy needs. India's second biggest state-owned explorer OIL has already formed an overseas subsidiary to look after its assets abroad. It is being formed on lines of OVL. The board has already approved the setting up of the foreign arm.
Till recently, OVL has taken the lead in India's overseas acquisition drive. But now PSUs like NTPC, Coal India, and also BPCL have started their foreign forays in a significant manner.
OVL has stake in 32 oil and gas projects in 16 countries such as Vietnam, Russia, Sudan, Iran and Brazil.
According to an oil ministry report, India’s energy demand is likely to be more than double by 2035, from less than 700 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) currently, to around 1, 500 mtoe.
Till January 2013, BPCL has a total of 17 discoveries out of which eight are in Mozambique, six in Brazil and one each in India, Indonesia and Australia.
In Mozambique, the operator has so far declared 35 to 65 plus trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas resources. In Brazil, there have been hydrocarbon discoveries in three basins: Campos, Sergipe Alagos and Espirito Santo.
BPCL entered into the arena of shale gas in 2010 with acquisition of interest in a block with shale gas potential in the Perth basin in Australia. A well has been drilled in this block and core results are positive.
The oil major has become the lead operator in an onland block in India and is also the joint operator in two onland blocks in India.
BPCL has so far invested around $1 billion for its projects, with commitments in excess of $1.5 billion. The total cumulative outlay till end 2015-16 is to the tune of $2.2 billion.To manage some of its overseas assets effectively, BPCL has incorporated subsidiaries and SPVs in Brazil and in the Netherlands.