ONGC Videsh Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), has made an oil discovery in the recently drilled Urraca-IX well in CPO5 block of the Llanos Basin region of Colombia.

"Well, Urraca-1X was spudded on 20th April 2022 and drilled to target depth (TD) of 10956 ft., encountering 17 ft thick oil bearing sands at a depth from 10201ft -10218 ft. During initial testing with Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP), fluid flowed @ approx. 600 bbl./day with around 40-50% W/C and oil of 16o API," the oil and gas explorer says in an exchange filing. "Oil discovery in the Lower Mirador play in this well opens up new areas for further exploration in the northern part of the block."

ONGC Videsh has earlier discovered commercial oil in the Lower Sand pay in Mariposa and Indico fields in the block in 2017 and 2018 respectively, which are currently commercially producing 20,000 bbl oil per day.

Block CPO-5 was awarded to ONGC Videsh in the 2008 bid round of Colombia. ONGC Videsh holds 70% participating interest (PI) in the block along with operatorship, the remaining 30% is held by partner Geopark.

ONGC Videsh has a significant presence in the oil and gas sector in Colombia, with three other exploratory blocks in the country and joint ownership of the oil producing company Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd (MECL).

"Oil discovery in a new play in the block with the well Urraca-1X, reiterates the technical and operational prowess of ONGC Videsh and adds one more feather in its cap towards the extensive exploration and drilling campaign in Colombia," the company says.

The state-owned oil and gas explorer plans to invest ₹31,000 crore in the next three financial years to intensify its exploration activities and leverage its international collaborations with global majors, Fortune India reported earlier.

The amount set aside for exploration is around 150% more than expenditure worth ₹20,670 crore incurred during the past three fiscal years (FY19-22). This includes activities funded through ONGC’s internal programme as well as funded and facilitated by the government.

As part of its international collaboration, ONGC on April 26 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Norwegian state-owned multinational energy major Equinor ASA. The MoU, valid for the next two years, will allow partnership in areas of upstream exploration and production, midstream, downstream and clean energy options, including carbon capture utilisation and sequestration. Equinor is the leading operator on the Norwegian continental shelf, and is present in 30 countries worldwide.

In the Andaman basin, ONGC has two blocks for exploration under the Open Acreage Licencing Policy (OALP). The company has also acquired seismic data in some sectors within ‘No-Go’ areas and few prospects have already been identified. ONGC plans to drill six wells in the next three years -- two under ONGC committed work programme and four through government funding.

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