ONGC to Expand RE Portfolio Through Offshore Wind

Highlights :

  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation is planning to generate electricity from wind at its vast offshore acreage in order to expand its renewable energy portfolio.
  • In the company’s Annual Report 2020-21, Chairman Subhash Kumar said: “A study for a pilot project in Offshore Wind has already been commissioned for assessing the opportunities in this niche segment.”

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is planning to generate electricity from wind at its vast offshore acreage in order to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

Owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, ONGC has oil and gas fields both in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. That experience of operating in shallow and deep-sea is now being tapped to set up wind turbines to generate electricity that could be wired to land.

In the company’s Annual Report 2020-21, Chairman Subhash Kumar said: “A study for a pilot project in Offshore Wind has already been commissioned for assessing the opportunities in this niche segment.”

In May last year, ONGC signed a Memorandum of Unity (MoU) with NTPC to achieve their targets in the renewable energy business. As per the MoU, NTPC and ONGC are to explore and set up renewable power assets including offshore wind, in India and overseas, and explore opportunities in the fields of sustainability, storage, e-mobility, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) compliant projects and also safety aspects.

Offshore windmills as almost twice as efficient as onshore wind turbines. But the cost per MW for offshore turbines is higher because of stronger structures and foundations needed in marine environments. The government has set a target of 5 GW of offshore wind installations by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030.

Kumar also said that the national oil explorer is exploring RE opportunities within and beyond the nation: “We added another 6 MW of solar capacity taking our total installed capacity (of solar energy) in excess of 30 MW…Our total installed capacity in renewable space has exceeded 325 MW and… we have a long distance to cover as we are targeting 10 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030.”

“The energy industry remains vital to the recovery of global economic activity in the aftermath of the pandemic-induced recession,” he said, adding, however, “business models will now have to be safer, more sustainable and less energy-intensive. Sustainability needs to be a central tenet of all future energy business plans and strategies.”

ONGC aims to sharpen its focus on climate-related aspects of its operations in order to remain relevant in tomorrow’s energy ecosystem, as per Kumar. “To achieve that vision, we are extending our footprints thoughtfully and meaningfully beyond our core (oil and gas) exploration and production activities – at the same time, we are also taking all necessary measures to make our core activities more sustainable and less energy-intensive,” he said.

While the firm’s domestic oil gas production declined to 45.35 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in FY21 from 48.25 mmtoe in the previous fiscal, ONGC remains positive of a turnaround in output in FY’22 as the threat of further disruptions mirroring the one in the first half of 2020 has abated a bit and the industry to readjusts its modus operandi to this ‘new normal’ of sustaining operations and doing businesses, the chairman added.

Kumar said by the year 2024 domestic production is projected to be in excess of 60 mmtoe, helped by flow from KG deepwater fields in eastern offshore as well as Heera in the shallow water of western offshore.

Our total installed capacity in renewables space has exceeded 325 MW and that we have a long distance to cover as we are targeting 10 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2040, he concluded.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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