Reliance, Shell JV To Return Panna-Mukta Oil Fields To ONGC
Oil Tankers fill up at an off-shore oil refinery in the Arabian Gulf. (Photographer: Steven E. Frischling/Bloomberg News)

Reliance, Shell JV To Return Panna-Mukta Oil Fields To ONGC


The joint venture that operated the Panna, Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields for 25 years will return the assets to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. on Dec. 11.

The PMT JV includes ONGC with 40 percent stake, and Reliance Industries Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell’s unit BG Exploration & Production India holding 30 percent each.

"After 25 years of operating the Panna-Mukta oil and gas fields, the Panna-Mukta and Tapti Joint Venture partners will be handing over the Panna-Mukta oil and gas fields back to the Government of India's nominee, i.e. ONGC, on Dec. 21, 2019," a joint statement issued by Reliance and Shell read.

In 1994, the Panna-Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast was awarded to a consortium of Enron Corp. and Reliance. ONGC, which had originally discovered the fields, was given 40 percent back-in rights.

Enron, during its bankruptcy, was taken over by BG Group of U.K. in 2003. BG Group's interest was subsequently taken over by Shell in 2016.

"The production sharing contracts for the Panna-Mukta and Tapti fields, which were executed by the PMT JV with the Government of India in 1994, will expire on Dec. 21, 2019," the Reliance-Shell joint statement read.

Speaking on the development, BGEPIL’s Managing Director Trivikram Arun said, "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).

"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," he said.

B Ganguly, president (exploration and production) at Reliance Industries, said: “At their peak, Panna-Mukta contributed nearly 6 percent of India's oil production and almost 7 percent 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,” he added.

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