The Ratna and R-series oil fields, 130-km off the Mumbai coast, hold an estimated 87 million barrels of oil and 1.2 billion cubic metres of gas reserves.
    
The medium-sized Ratna and R-Series (R&RS) fields have been languishing since 1993 when the then P V Narasimha Rao-led Congress government decided to invite bids.

The fields were awarded to a consortium led by Essar Oil in 1996. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 1999 approved finalising and concluding PSC within six months after negotiations are held by the negotiating team of secretaries (NTS), but the same has not been signed till date over royalty and cess amount to be charged from Essar Oil and partners.

NTS held 20 meetings between November 1999 and June 2013 and kept setting targets for completion of negotiations and signing of production sharing contract (PSC), but it could not stick to its own targets for completion of the negotiations.
     
CCEA has decided to revert the fields back to ONGC, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. ONGC had discovered the fields and created facilities in Ratna R-12, which is part of R&RS, at a cost of Rs 472.55 crore. These facilities were used by the company for production since 1983 before production was stopped in September 1994 after the field was put up for auction.

 

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