50-yr-old ONGC’s drilling rig re-joins operation after refabrication

The British engineering & consulting conglomerate Wood Group’s Mustang unit based in Texas carried out the front-end engineering and design for the vessel’s conversion

Oil blocks

Mumbai: Sagar Samrat, an iconic drilling rig of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), was re-commissioned in to service after design modification. Instead of earlier operation as fixed platform, it will now work as mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) for crude oil.

Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Hardeep S Puri formally re-dedicating the drilling rig as a MOPU to the nation offshore Mumbai at a customary event on Saturday. ONGC chairman Arun Kumar Singh and petroleum secretary Pankaj Jain were also present on the occasion.

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“Re-coronation of Sagar Samrat is a testament to the courage and willingness to make a difference in the face of uncertainties and the tumultuous forces of nature through re-alignment and innovation,” said Puri.

In a tweet, the minister said, “Sagar Samrat now rules the sea as a MOPU. Joined energy soldiers of ONGC at the re-coronation of a valuable asset. Sagar Samrat rig built in 1973 was instrumental in 14 key offshore oil & gas discoveries & drilled around 125 wells.”

“This state-of-the-art facility will handle up to 20,000 barrel per day (BPD) of crude oil, with a maximum export gas capacity of 2.36 MCM per day & is expected to add 6000 bbls/day of oil to India’s production in the coming days,” Puri added.

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Commissioned in 1973, Sagar Samrat turned tides of India’s oil fortune by putting it on the global oil map. Initially a jack-up drilling rig, Sagar Samrat has now been converted into a MOPU. The British engineering and consulting conglomerate Wood Group’s Mustang unit based in Texas carried out the front-end engineering and design for the vessel’s conversion.

Petroleum & natural gas minister Hardeep S Puri onboard Sagar Samrat with ONGC chairman Arun Kumar Singh

MOPU Sagar Samrat commenced production on December 23, last year. The vessel is presently deployed at Western Offshore (WO)-16 field, located 140-145 kilometres west of Mumbai. Located adjacent to the ONGC’s existing WO-16 well head platform (WHP) in 76m of water depth, the vessel will be instrumental in producing from marginal fields in WO cluster thereby augmenting production from Western offshore.

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The MOPU is designed to handle 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil and has a maximum export gas capacity of 2.36 million cubic meters per day.

At another programme of ONGC, the minister said that petroleum & natural gas ministry intends to increase India’s exploration acreage to 0.5 million sq km by 2025 and 1 million sq km by 2030. He also said that the government has been successful in reducing the ‘No Go’ area by 99%, thereby making available an additional approx. 1 million Sq.km. of India’s EEZ for exploration. Several MNCs like Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Total Energies are showing keen interest to invest in the Indian E&P segment, and some are already in talks with ONGC for firming up mutually beneficial partnerships.

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