ONGC is inviting more private players to exploit marginal gas fields in the KG Basin and elsewhere in the country, company Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva said here on Thursday.

Inaugurating ONGC-KEI-RSOS Petroleum Partnership gas production from marginal fields of the KG Basin at the Sonali Gas Collection Station (GCS) here, Mr. Sudhir Vasudeva said the power crisis in Andhra Pradesh would be mitigated even though production from the fields might be low. Gas prices had been increased substantially to make exploitation of these fields feasible. It would benefit private players and ONGC, he said.

The company had drawn up a plan to double its production by 2030. “At present we are producing 61 million tonnes, and it will be doubled by 2030. We are also de-bottlenecking our Mangalore refinery, and the refining capacity will rise to 18 million tonnes by 2016. We are also acquiring 26 per cent stake in the HPCL refinery being built in Rajasthan,’’ he added.

Mr. Sudhir Vasudeva said ONGC would invest Rs.1.65 lakh crore during the XII Plan, and at least 40 million tonnes more output would be added during the period. He declined comment on the controversy over Reliance D-6 field production.

J. G. Chaturvedi, Executive Director and chief of Marginal Fields division of ONGC, said the fields were contributing 10 per cent of the total gas production at present, and it might increase in the near future if more number of private players came forward. ONGC had decided to award six more marginal gas fields to private players, he added..

Jasti Murthy, Managing Director, KEI-RSOS Petroleum & Energy Limited, spoke about the hurdles he faced in bringing the marginal fields allotted to his company to the production stage.