Arabian Sea Current Affairs
Tri-service maritime exercise Paschim Lehar conducted by Indian Navy concluded off western coast in Arabian Sea. The objective of the exercise was to build interoperability between Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard.
The three-week long exercise tested operational readiness of Indian Navy’s Western Command and execution of its operational plans, logistics and administrative plans. Over 40 naval assets including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, frontline ships of Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet, including newly-inducted Kolkata class ones, submarines, potent missile vessels of 22nd Killer Squadron, patrol vessels and craft of local flotilla and Coast Guard participated in the exercise
The exercise also witnessed intense flying activity by carrier-borne Mig29K, P-8I, IL-38SDs, Dorniers and Remotely Piloted Aircraft. It also witnessed enhanced participation by Indian Air Force (IAF) planes, in coordinated flying missions with Indian Navy’s air assets.
Maritime role Jaguars, Su-30 MKI, AWACS and Flight Refuellers participated in large numbers from different airfields in Gujarat, Maharashtra and North India. Moreover, amphibious landing exercise was also conducted, which included participation of the 91 Infantry Brigade of Indian Army.
The exercise enabled testing and revalidation of operational plans and manoeuvres in a hostile maritime scenario on India’s Western seaboard. It also rehearsed defence of Indian offshore assets like oil rigs, escort operations of merchant ships and coastal defence.
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has made oil discovery in WO-24-3 well located west of Mumbai High fields in Arabian Sea. The well is estimated to hold in-place reserve of about 20 million tonnes.
The new discovery comes almost 50 years after ONGC began production in Mumbai High, which is India’s biggest oil field. It currently produces 205,000 barrels of oil per day (just over 10 million tonnes per annum).
In all, ONGC had tested nine objects or zones and all of them were found to be hydrocarbon bearing. The last object tested flowed 3,300 barrels of oil. ONGC is also carrying out further appraisal of discovery and has intimated upstream regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). The new find will add to existing production capacity of Mumbai High in less than two years time. It will help ONGC to maintain production levels from basin for a longer time than currently estimated.
Mumbai High is ONGC’s flagship oil producing assets. It along with other small fields along western offshore have produced 16 million tonnes per annum of oil, which is 44% of India’s total crude oil production of 36 million tonnes. ONGC produced 25.5 million tonnes of oil in 2016-17, which will reach 28-29 million tonnes by 2019-20.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
ONGC is multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. It is Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under administrative control of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It is India’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company. It produces around 77% of India’s crude oil (equivalent to around 30% of the country’s total demand) and around 62% of its natural gas.