Oil and Natural Gas Corporation confirmed on discovering natural gas in KG basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast and Mahanadi basin off Orissa coast, but said the find in KG basin posts 'technological challenges' and it was on looking for a strategic partner.
"I can confirm a huge gas find in ultra deepwater in KG basin and a commercial discovery in Mahanadi basin," Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told reporters in New Delhi.
ONGC Chairman R S Sharma said the KG well in water depth of 2,840 metres was still to reach its target depth but "initial testing in presence of DGH officials has confirmed presence of natural gas".
The well has reached a depth of 6,600 metres and the target depth of 7,000 metres would be reached in next two weeks. ONGC will drill four-five more appraisal wells before it can announce the size of the discovery and the reserves it holds, he said.
"Production from such deepwater is a technological challenge and we are in talks with Petrobras of Brazil, ENI of Italy, Norsk Hydro of Norway and BG of the UK for a strategic tie-up," Sharma said, adding the company was willing to offer the partner equity stake in the block KG-DWN-98/2.
On Mahanadi gas find, he said the gas discovery was of commercial nature but reserve estimate can be put only after few more wells are drilled.
"We are 90 per cent sure that gas has been found. I was to make an announcement of the discovery at the inauguration of Petrotech conference on January 16, but since testing has not been done, we refrained from going public," Deora said.