State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), has launched a $15 Mn (INR 100 Cr) fund for startups. With this, ONGC aims to nurture and incubate new ideas related working in the oil and gas sector.
As part of this initiative, startups will be provided with an entire support chain – seed capital, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups. A dedicated website will be an add-on.
Based in Uttarakhand, ONGC dominates the upstream segment (exploration and production), accounting for approximately 68% of the country’s total oil output (FY14).
“This initiative will promote entrepreneurship among the younger Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive to the growth of startups in the oil & gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas,” said ONGC CMD Dinesh K Sarraf.
The oil and gas sector is among the six core industries in India and accounts for 5.5% of the total global trade. The country’s gas production is expected to touch 90 Billion Cubic Metres (BCM) in 2040 from 35 BCM in 2013.
Also, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the petroleum and natural gas sector attracted FDI worth US$ 6.67 Bn between April 2000 and March 2016.
Earlier in March this year, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the foreign arm of ONGC, planned to acquire up to 15 per cent stake in CSJC Vankorneft, which owns Russia’s second-largest oil and gas field.
ONGC also announced awards to its three young officers, Rajendra Bhambhu, Prajesh Chopra and Deepak Naik for their innovative ideas.
Rajendra and Deepak have developed a safety device for rigs. This would facilitate emergency brake to augment safety mechanism on drilling rigs. Prajesh has built a dual SIM cellular router system that provides data connectivity at work-over rigs. This system curtails the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, thus saving time and money.
Although, a number of reforms have been taken by the Indian government to promote the oil and gas sector, it has seen few innovations to date. This step by ONGC will certainly pave the way for other multinationals such as RIL, GAIL, IOCL, etc.