India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has started oil and gas production from the Sagar Samrat mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) in the Arabian Sea.

The offshore drilling rig is designed to handle up to 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and has a maximum export gas capacity of 2.36 million cubic metres per day.

In the future, the rig is expected to add 6000bpd of oil to ONGC’s production capacity.

Oil produced from the WO-16 cluster is being flowed into the MOPU processing system and subsequently shipped to an onshore terminal.

Located in the Arabian Sea at a water depth of 75m to 80m and 130km from Mumbai, the WO-16 cluster is made of four marginal fields.

ONGC said in a statement: “Since no nearby facility exists to produce from this field, it was planned to install a MOPU for the production, processing, and transportation of oil and gas from the WO-16 Cluster.”

In 2011, ONGC selected a consortium of Mercator Oil & Gas, Mercator Offshore, and the Gulf Piping Company to convert the Sagar Samrat jack-up rig into an MOPU.

Following several hurdles such as Covid-19 and legal challenges, the MOPU was installed close to the WO-16 wellhead platform in April 2022.

“The Sagar Samrat conversion project is one of the most complex projects executed by ONGC”, ONGC said in a press statement.

In August 2022, ONGC and ExxonMobil agreed to undertake oil and gas exploration on the east and west coasts of India.

The two firms will undertake exploration work, focusing on the Krishna Godavari and Cauvery basins in the eastern offshore area and the Kutch-Mumbai region in the western offshore area.