OIL & NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD: An Overview
OIL AND NATURAL GAS CORPORATION LTD, (ONGC) today is the premier Indian industry effectively participating in efficient implementation of both the economic as well as the social mission of a national industry. Its growth has been one of consistent stability and ascending productivity, matching international performance makers, through innovative approach and participative management
During the pre-independence period, the Assam Oil Company in the northeastern and Attock Oil company in northwestern part of the undivided India were the only oil companies producing oil in the country, with minimal exploration input. The major part of Indian sedimentary basins was deemed to be unfit for development of oil and gas resources. After independence, the national Government realized the importance oil and gas for rapid industrial development and its strategic role in defense. Consequently, while framing the Industrial Policy statement of 1948, the development of petroleum industry in the country was considered to be of utmost necessity. Until 1955, private oil companies mainly carried out exploration of hydrocarbon resources of India. In Assam, the Assam Oil Company was producing oil at Digboi (discovered in 1889) and the Oil India Ltd. (a 50% joint venture between Government of India and Burma Oil Company) was engaged in developing two newly discovered large fields Naharkatiya and Moran in Assam. In West Bengal, the Indo-Stanvac Petroleum project (a joint venture between Government of India and Standard Vacuum Oil Company of USA) was engaged in exploration work. The vast sedimentary tract in other parts of India and adjoining offshore remained largely unexplored. In 1955, Government of India decided to develop the oil and natural gas resources in the various regions of the country as part of the Public Sector development. With this objective, an Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was set up towards the end of 1955, as a subordinate office under the then Ministry of Natural Resources and Scientific Research. The department was constituted with a nucleus of geoscientists from the Geological survey of India. A delegation under the leadership of Mr. K D Malviya, the then Minister of Natural Resources, visited several European countries to study the status of oil industry in those countries and to facilitate the training of Indian professionals for exploring potential oil and gas reserves. Foreign experts from USA, West Germany, Romania and erstwhile U.S.S.R visited India and helped the government with their expertise. Finally, the visiting Soviet experts drew up a detailed plan for geological and geophysical surveys and drilling operations to be carried out in the 2nd Five Year Plan (1956-57 to 1960-61).
In April 1956, the Government of India adopted the Industrial Policy Resolution, which placed mineral oil industry among the schedule 'A' industries, the future development of which was to be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the state. Soon, after the formation of the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate, it became apparent that it would not be possible for the Directorate with its limited financial and administrative powers as subordinate office of the Government, to function efficiently. So in August, 1956, the Directorate was raised to the status of a commission with enhanced powers, although it continued to be under the government. In October 1959, the Commission was converted into a statutory body by an act of the Indian Parliament, which enhanced powers of the commission further. The main functions of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission subject to the provisions of the Act, were "to plan, promote, organize and implement programs for development of Petroleum Resources and the production and sale of petroleum and petroleum products produced by it, and to perform such other functions as the Central Government may, from time to time, assign to it ". The act further outlined the...
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