India’s Top Oil Explorer Plans $12 Billion Green Energy Spend

By Bloomberg

May 29, 2023

image is BloomburgMedia_RVEYTWDWX2PS01_29-05-2023_13-01-38_638209152000000000.jpg

A worker inspects a land drilling oil rig, manufactured by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) and operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corp., during a media tour in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. MEIL has supplied 10 land drilling oil rigs to ONGC, with three already in operation, according to a company statement. Photographer: Sumit Dayal/Bloomberg

India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. aims to invest 1 trillion rupees ($12.1 billion) by 2030 in a bid to balance its fossil fuel-heavy energy portfolio with green projects.

The state-controlled driller that produces more than half the nation’s oil and gas plans to grow its renewable power portfolio to 10,000 megawatts by 2030 from 189 megawatts at the end of March, Chairman Arun Kumar Singh said during a press briefing Monday in Mumbai. It will also focus on using clean energy to produce ammonia and other technologies that can offer around-the-clock generation.

“India will continue to grow in fossil fuel demand until 2040, but at the same time we have to step up our efforts for green energy,” Singh said. “We have to do this so that both the worlds can co-exist.” 

ONGC joins Indian Oil Corp. and privately-held Reliance Industries as major fossil fuel powers in the nation who have announced big ticket investments in carbon-free energy. Singh also said the company would try to zero out its direct emissions — but not those that come from the oil and gas it sells — by 2038. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a national goal to become net zero by 2070. 

“Since we have cash flow, possibly in comparison to others we will find it easier to do,” Singh said. “We can take a little riskier position.”

The firm has no plans to stop investing in fossil fuels. Its capital spending plan of 301.25 billion rupees for the current fiscal year is almost all dedicated to exploration and development of its oil and gas blocks. Its overseas unit, ONGC Videsh Ltd, is considering bidding for blocks in Guyana, and is also mulling acquisition opportunities in Africa and Latin America, OVL Managing Director Rajarshi Gupta said during the same briefing.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

By Advait Palepu , Rakesh Sharma

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