ONGC’s iconic Sagar Samrat re-dedicated to the nation as Mobile Offshore Production Unit

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New Delhi (29/01/2023): “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 the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister for Housing and Urban Development Hardeep S. Puri while re-dedicating Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) iconic drilling rig Sagar Samrat, as a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) to the nation.

In a tweet, the Minister said, “Sagar Samrat now rules the sea as a Mobile Offshore Production Unit. 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.”

He further stated, “this state-of-the-art facility will handle up to 20,000 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.”

“A positive step in India’s steady journey towards energy self-sufficiency by 2047, this unit will be able to operate in deep waters, will open up new opportunities to access previously untapped reserves.” stated Hardeep S. Puri.

Commissioned in 1973, Sagar Samrat turned tides of India’s oil fortune by putting it on the global oil map. In 32 years, Sagar Samrat has drilled almost 125 wells and has been involved with 14 key offshore oil and gas discoveries in India.

Initially a jack-up drilling rig, Sagar Samrat has now been converted into a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (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.

MOPU Sagar Samrat commenced production on 23 December 2022. 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. 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.

The vessel has been rededicated to the nation as Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU) on 28th January 2023, at a ceremony held on Sagar Samrat which is located 140-145 kilometres west of Mumbai. The Chairman of ONGC Arun Kumar Singh and Petroleum Secretary Pankaj Jain were also present on the occasion.

The Minister later visited ONGC Kendriya Vidyalaya Grounds, Panvel Phase 1 to meet the Energy Soldiers of ONGC and their families.

The Minister met the ONGC employees who manned the Sagar Samrat as a drilling rig and also the team which worked on converting it to a MOPU. He motivated the crew of Sagar Samrat, whom he called ‘Energy Soldiers of the Nation’ to continue their efforts for India’s energy security. The Minister highlighted how Sagar Samrat is a testimony of India’s vision of producing its own oil when it was globally labelled as “barren” in terms of hydrocarbon exploration.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said that Government of India intends to increase India’s exploration acreage to 0.5 million sq. km. by 2025 and 1.0 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 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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