Sagar Samrat
Sagar Samrat

ONGC ‘Sagar Samrat’, now a MOPU, starts oil and gas production in Arabian Sea

New Delhi, January 3, 2023

ONGC's iconic offshore drilling rig Sagar Samrat which, after serving its life, has been converted into a Mobile Offshore Production Unit (MOPU), has started producing oil and gas from the WO-16 cluster.

"The first oil from WO-16 cluster has flowed into the processing system of MOPU and dispatch to onshore terminal has commenced," a press release from the public sector Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said today.

Built as a jack-up drilling rig in 1973, Sagar Samrat was commissioned as a MOPU on December 23.

"Sagar Samrat MOPU will handle up to 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil, with a maximum export gas capacity of 2.36 million cubic meters per day and is expected to add 6000 bbls/day of oil to ONGC’s production in the coming days," it said.

WO-16 is a cluster of four marginal fields in the Arabian Sea at a water depth of 75-80 m and 130 km from Mumbai, which is about 40 km from the Mumbai High. Since no nearby facility exists to produce from this field, it was planned to install a MOPU for production, processing and transportation of oil and gas from WO-16 Cluster, the release said.

The project to convert Jack-up rig Sagar Samrat into a MOPU was awarded to a consortium of Mercator Oil & Gas Ltd, Mercator Offshore (P) Ltd and Gulf Piping Company (GPC) on November 17, 2011.

After several hurdles like the legal challenges and COVID-19, the MOPU was transported to India, on a Heavy Lift Vessel and post statutory clearances, successfully installed close to the WO-16 wellhead platform on April 16, 2022.

According to the release, the Sagar Samrat conversion project is one of the most complex projects executed by ONGC.

"The MOPU stands tall in the Arabian Sea, as a testimony, to narrate the stories of several tough decisions taken during its execution and the excellent stakeholder consultation by ONGC which eventually yielded results," it said.

As a drilling rig, Sagar Samrat has been a lucky mascot for ONGC. The rig was instrumental in the discovery of the biggest oil field in India; Mumbai High in 1974 bringing fortunes to the company and transforming the oil map of India.

Over the years the rig drilled over 125 wells and has been involved with 14 key offshore oil and gas discoveries.

As WO-16, the MOPU will be shifted to other locations for monetization of other discoveries.


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