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We expect Tapti Fields to be decommissioned in two years: Shell India

Gireesh Babu/ 08 Dec 18 | 09:34 PM

The Tapti fields under the Panna, Mukta and Tapti (PMT) joint venture is estimated to be decommissioned in two years, and is now at a stage where the loopholes are being plugged, said Nitin Prasad, chairman, Shell Companies in India. The company is ahead of its target to have over 1,000 retail outlets in the country by 2027, he added.

Speaking to reporters in the sidelines of the launch of a flat-pack all-terrain truck, The Ox, in India, he said, “Tapti is now dry and is facing decommissioning. Last week, we signed an agreement that resolved all the final issues. We now have India’s first offshore decommissioning of Tapti fields and we will begin that work. We have already been doing the first couple of plugging wells and other works. We have already transferred some of the assets over to ONGC, but now we will begin the real decommissioning works."

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The company has spent a lot of time to bring in the best global standards as it has experience in executing decommissioning in the North Sea, Mexico and other parts of the world. The company has worked with its partners and the government to identify a way and approach to do this with the best standards.

The PMT joint venture, comprising Oil and Natural Gas Corporation  Limited, Reliance Industries Limited and BG Exploration and Production India Limited — which is part of Shell now — is located off the shore to the south of the Gulf of Khambhat on the Arabian Sea coast of India. It is under a production-sharing contract (PSC) with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, government of India.

The Tapti fields went into a phase of decline after 2008 and cessation of production was finally declared in March 2016, according to a report by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

In 2017, the company started preparing to decommission the Tapti fields. A total of 38 wells, five platforms and four pipelines have to be closed in order to decommission the facility.

Panna and Mukta fields produce seven per cent of India’s oil and gas production. The fields are at a latter phase of their life cycle and could be better run by a new operator, Prasad suggested.

“The type of technologies and ways in which you choose to run the field change in its lifetime. There are better people to run the late phase of the fields than us. That is why we came back and made a decision against extending the PSC," he added. Once the PSC ends the unincorporated joint venture will end and the assets will be handed over to the next operator.

The company had last year announced plans to open more than 1,000 outlets in India in 10 years. Its count is around 150 outlets now. The company is in talks with various state governments to set up outlets faster.

Commenting on the newly launched The Ox, Prasad said it is an energy-efficient affordable solution for last-mile connectivity in India. The vehicle will have a high level of localised parts, which would make it easier for manufacturing, maintenance and repair. The company is in talks with original equipment manufacturers for various models of partnership to bring the vehicle commercially. The aim is also to use the all-terrain vehicle in accessing distant places during natural disasters.

The Ox truck is a a global partnership between Shell and Gordon Murray Design and the Global Vehicle Trust. The product launched in India was the its fourth generation version, in which Shell has invested. Prasad refused to share investment figures. The 3.5-tonne truck can carry a weight of two tonne, which could be beneficial in rural areas, he sai

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