Before the independence of India in 1947, the Assam Oil Company in the north-eastern and Attock Oil company in north-western part of the undivided India were the only oil producing companies, with minimal exploration input. The major part of Indian sedimentary basins was deemed to be unfit for development of oil and gas resources.
After independence, the Central Government of India realized the importance of oil and gas for rapid industrial development and its strategic role in defense. Consequently, while framing the Industrial Policy Statement of 1948, the development of petroleum industry in the country was considered to be of utmost necessity.
Until 1955, private oil companies mainly carried out exploration of hydrocarbon resources of India. In Assam, the Assam Oil Company was producing oil at Digboi (discovered in 1889) and Oil India Ltd. (a 50% joint venture between Government of India and Burmah Oil Company) was engaged in developing two newly discovered large fields Naharkatiya and Moraan in Assam. In West Bengal, the Indo-Stanvac Petroleum project (a joint venture between Government of India and Standard Vacuum Oil Company of USA) was engaged in exploration work. The vast sedimentary tract in other parts of India and adjoining offshore remained largely unexplored.
In 1955, Government of India decided to develop the oil and natural gas resources in the various regions of the country as part of the Public Sector development. With this objective, an Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was set up towards the end of 1955, as a subordinate office under the then Ministry of Natural Resources and Scientific Research. The department was constituted with a nucleus of geoscientists from the Geological Survey of India.
A delegation under the leadership of the Minister of Natural Resources visited several European countries to study the status of oil industry in those countries and to facilitate the training of Indian professionals for exploring potential oil and gas reserves. Experts from Romania, the Soviet Union, the United States and West Germany subsequently visited India and helped the government with their expertise. Soviet experts later drew up a detailed plan for geological and geophysical surveys and drilling operations to be carried out in the 2nd Five Year Plan (1956–61).
In April 1956, the Government of India adopted the Industrial Policy Resolution, which placed Mineral Oil Industry among the schedule 'A' industries, the future development of which was to be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the state.
Soon, after the formation of the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate, it became apparent that it would not be possible for the Directorate with its limited financial and administrative powers as subordinate office of the Government, to function efficiently. So in August, 1956, the Directorate was raised to the status of a commission with enhanced powers, although it continued to be under the government. In October 1959, the Commission was converted into a statutory body by an act of the Indian Parliament, which enhanced powers of the commission further. The main functions of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission subject to the provisions of the Act, were "to plan, promote, organize and implement programs for development of Petroleum Resources and the production and sale of petroleum and petroleum products produced by it, and to perform such other functions as the Central Government may, from time to time, assign to it ". The act further outlined the activities and steps to be taken by ONGC in fulfilling its mandate.
Since its inception, ONGC has been instrumental in transforming the country's limited upstream sector into a large viable playing field, with its activities spread throughout India and significantly in overseas territories. In the inland areas, ONGC not only found new resources in Assam but also established new oil province in Cambay basin (Gujarat), while adding new petroliferous areas in the Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and East coast basins (both onshore and offshore). ONGC went offshore in the early 1970s and discovered a giant oil field in the form of Bombay High, now known as Mumbai High. This discovery, along with subsequent discoveries of huge oil and gas fields in Western offshore changed the oil scenario of the country. Subsequently, over 5 billion tonnes of hydrocarbons, which were present in the country, were discovered. The most important contribution of ONGC, however, is its self-reliance and development of core competence in E&P activities at a globally competitive level.
ONGC became a publicly held company in February 1994, with 20% of its equity were sold to the public and eighty percent retained by the Indian government. At the time, ONGC employed 48,000 people and had reserves and surpluses worth ₹104.34 billion, in addition to its intangible assets. The corporation's net worth of ₹107.77 billion was the largest of any Indian company.
In 1958 the then Chairman, Keshav Dev Malaviya, held a meeting with some geologists in the Mussoorie office of the Geology Directorate where he accepted the need for ONGC to go outside India too in order to enhance Indian owned capacity for oil production. The argument in support for this step, by LP Mathur and BS Negi, was that Indian demand for crude would go up at a faster rate than discoveries by ONGC in India.
Malaviya followed this up by making ONGC apply for exploration licences in the Persian Gulf. Iran gave ONGC four blocks and Malaviya visited Milan and Bartlseville to request ENI and Phillips Petroleum to join as partners in the Iran venture. This resulted in the discovery of the Rostum oilfield in the early 'sixties, very soon after the discovery of Ankleswar in Gujarat. This was the very first investment by the Indian public sector in foreign countries and oil from Rostum and Raksh was brought to Cochin where it was refined in a refinery built with technical assistance from Phillips.
In 2003, ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), the division of ONGC concerned with its foreign assets, acquired Talisman Energy's 25% stake in the Greater Nile Oil project.
In 2006, a commemorative coin set was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of ONGC, making it only the second Indian company (State Bank of India being the first) to have such a coin issued in its honor.
In 2011, ONGC applied to purchase 2000 acres of land at Dahanu to process offshore gas. ONGC Videsh, along with Statoil ASA (Norway) and Repsol SA (Spain), has been engaged in deep-water drilling off the northern coast of Cuba in 2012. On 11 August 2012, ONGC announced that it had made a large oil discovery in the D1 oilfield off the west coast of India, which will help it to raise the output of the field from around 12,500 barrels per day (bpd) to a peak output of 60,000 bpd.
In November 2012, OVL agreed to acquire ConocoPhillips' 8.4% stake in the Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan for around US$5 billion, in ONGC's largest acquisition to date. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the governments of Kazakhstan and India and also to other partners in the Caspian Sea field waiving their pre-emption rights.
In January 2014, OVL and Oil India completed the acquisition of Videocon Group's ten percent stake in a Mozambican gas field for a total of $2.47 billion.
In June 2015, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) given a Rs27bn ($427m) offshore contract for the Bassein development project to Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
In February 2016, the board of ONGC approved an investment of Rs. 5,050 crore in Tripura for drilling of wells and creation of surface facilities to produce 5.1 million standard cubic feet per day gas from the state's fields.
ONGC's operations include conventional exploration and production, refining and progressive development of alternate energy sources like coal-bed methane and shale gas. The company's domestic operations are structured around 11 assets (predominantly oil and gas producing properties), 7 basins (exploratory properties), 2 plants (at Hazira and Uran) and services (for necessary inputs and support such as drilling, geo-physical, logging and well services).
ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is the international arm of ONGC. It was rechristened on 15 June 1989. It currently has 14 projects across 16 countries. Its oil and gas production reached 8.87 MMT of O+oEG in 2010, up from 0.252 MMT of O+OEG in 2002/03. ONGC holds 100% stake in ONGC Videsh Limited.
Presence of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in Latin America;Brazil (Block BC-10, BM-SEAL-4, BM-BAR-1, BM-ES-42, BM-S-73 & S-74)
Colombia (Block LLA-69, RC-8, RC-9, RC-10, SSJN-7 & CPO-5)
Cuba (Block N-25, N-26, N-27, N-28, N-29 N-34, N-35 & N-36 Block)
Venezuela (Block San Cristobal, Block Carabobo-1)
Presence of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in CIS & Far-East;Vietnam (Block 06.1, 127, 128)
Myanmar (Block A-1, A-3, AD-2, AD-3 & AD-9, Pipeline Project- PipeCo-1, PipeCo-2)
Russia (Block Sakhalin-I, 69, 70–1, 70–2, 70–3, 77, 80, 85–1, 85–2 and 86)(15% shares in csjc vancourneft company of vancour)
Kazakhstan (Satpayev Exploration Block)
Presence of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in Africa;Libya (Block NC-189, 81–1, Contract Area 43)
Nigeria (Block OPL 279, OPL 285, Block-2)
Sudan & South Sudan (GNOP/GNPOC/GPOC- 1, 2 & 4, Block 5A, Pipeline- Khartoum-Port Project)
Mozambique (Rovuma Area 1 Offshore)
Presence of ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) in Middle East;Iraq (Exploration Block-8)
Syria (Al Furat (4 PSA), Block-XXIV)
"Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited":
It is an oil refinery at Mangalore. MRPL has a design capacity to process 15 million metric tons per annum and have 2 Hydrocrackers producing Premium Diesel (High Cetane). It also has 2 CCRs producing Unleaded Petrol of High Octane.
ONGC is holding many sport teams, such as athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, chess, cricket, cue sports, carrom, field hockey, football, kabaddi, shooting, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. Its football team, ONGC F.C., once played in Indian I-League.ONGC Tripura Power Company:
ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd (OTPC) is a joint venture which was formed in September 2008 between ONGC, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited and the Government of Tripura. It is developing a 726.6 MW CCGT thermal power generation project at Palatana in Tripura which will supply electricity to the power deficit areas of the north eastern states of the country. OTPC have 2 no 9FA MAchines Supplied by GE USA. A 400 kV D/C Transmission system connecting Palatana (generation project site) in Tripura to Bongaigaon in Assam over a distance of around 650 km for the evacuation of power from the generation project.
The development and operation of the transmission system would be undertaken by North-East Transmission Company Limited (NETCL) a joint venture of OTPC, PowerGrid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) and the North Eastern Region beneficiary states. OTPC has been granted in-principle approval for Mega Power Project (MPP) status by GoI on July 27, 2006 for the Project. The company is applying to MoP, GoI for final approval of MPP status and the same is expected to be obtained shortly. The Generation Project is being domiciled in ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd. ("OTPC" or "the Company"), a Special Purpose Vehicle promoted by ONGC, IL&FS Limited and Government of Tripura (GoT).ONGC Petro Additions Limited:
ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL), a multi billion joint venture company was incorporated in 2006, as a Public Limited Company under the companies Act, 1956, promoted by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and co-promoted by GAIL and GSPC.
OPaL is setting up a grass root mega Petrochemical project at Dahej, Gujarat in PCPIR/SEZ. The complex's main Dual Feed Cracker Unit has the capacity to produce 1100 KTPA Ethylene, 400 KTPA Propylene and the Associated Units consists of Pyrolysis Gasoline Hydrogenation Unit, Butadiene Extraction Unit and Benzene Extraction Unit. The Polymer plants of OPaL has 2X360 KTPA of LLDPE/HDPE Swing unit, 1X340 KTPA of Dedicated HDPE and 1x340 KTPA of PP. All the major contracts have been awarded and the construction is in full swing.
ONGC supplies crude oil, natural gas, and value-added products to major Indian oil and gas refining and marketing companies. It primary products crude oil and natural gas are for Indian market.
Product-wise revenue breakup for FY 2012–13 (₹ billion):
Listings and Shareholding
The equity shares of ONGC are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the BSE SENSEX index, and the National Stock Exchange of India, where it is a constituent of the S&P CNX Nifty.
As on 31 March 2013, Government of India held around 69% equity shares in ONGC. Over 480,000 individual shareholders hold approx. 1.65% of its shares. Life Insurance Corporation of India is the largest non-promoter shareholder in the company with 7.75% shareholding.
As on 31 March 2013, the company had 32,923 employees, out of which 2,091 were women (6.35%) and 143 were employees with disabilities (0.43%). The attrition rate in FY 2009–10 was 0.42%. In its CSR report for 2011–12, the company informed that 20% of its existing employees would super-annuate in next 5 years.ONGC was ranked as the Most Attractive Employer in the Energy sector in India, in the Randstad Awards 2013.
ONGC was one of 12 winners of the 'Golden Peacock Award 2014' for its corporate social responsibility practices, and one of 24 winners of the 'Golden Peacock Award 2013' in the occupational safety and health category.
In April 2013, it was ranked at 155th place in the Forbes Global 2000 for 2012.
In 2011, ONGC was ranked 39th among the world's 105 largest listed companies in 'transparency in corporate reporting' by Transparency International making it the most transparent company in India.
It was conferred with 'Maharatna' status by the Government of India in November 2010. The Maharatna status to select PSUs allows more freedom in decision making.
In February 2014, FICCI conferred it with Best Company Promoting Sports Award.
ONGC wins the "Greentech Excellence Award" for the year 2013 in Platinum Category
ONGC was ranked 82nd among India's most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report 2012, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory. In the Brand Trust Report 2013, ONGC was ranked 191st among India's most trusted brands and subsequently, according to the Brand Trust Report 2014, ONGC was ranked 370th among India's most trusted brands.