India's top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation plans to invest Rs2 trillion ($24.17 billion) on clean energy projects in order to meet its 2038 net-zero carbon emissions goal, said its top official.

In a press briefing at the company’s annual general meeting, ONGC chairman Arun Kumar Singh said that by 2030, the energy company will invest Rs1 trillion in offshore wind energy, green ammonia plants and ten gigawatts of renewable energy capacity.

The remaining funds will be allocated to scope 1 and 2 net-zero carbon emissions targets by 2038, Singh was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

ONGC will invest in green initiatives while continuing to explore and produce more oil and gas.

“It is not an ‘or’ strategy. It is an ‘and’ story. ONGC will continue to invest in oil and gas exploration and production and also in energy transition projects,” Singh said, adding that “ONGC has enough heft, financial muscle to do both.”

ONGC stated that it has outlined a “road map to significantly expand its low-carbon energy portfolio.”

In the last five years, scope 1 and 2 emissions have been reduced by 17%, and in financial year 2023, ONGC cut its emissions by 2.66%.

"ONGC plans to significantly increase its spending on green initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint as a broader effort to achieve net-zero for scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2038," Singh added.

The company, which accounts for about two-thirds of India's oil production and about 58% of gas, is looking to boost its hydrocarbon output while strengthening its presence in the clean energy sector, says Reuters.

It is building a 5 gigawatts solar energy project in the desert state of Rajasthan and has plans to set up offshore wind energy plants.

"ONGC is also actively exploring collaborations with leading players to leverage various low carbon energy opportunities including renewables, green hydrogen, green ammonia and other derivatives of green hydrogen," Singh said earlier in the day at the shareholders meet.

The company is also scouting for a partner to set up a 1 million tonnes per year green ammonia project.

"We have financial muscle to invest both in hydrocarbon and new energy," Singh said while addressing the media. ONGC has the capability to raise up to Rs5 trillion.

ONGC aims to produce 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil from its deepwater block in the Krishna Godavari basin, off India's East Coast, from October-November this year and hopes to double it by March next year, it said in a presentation.

Oil output from the east coast block could rise to 45,000 bpd in 2024/25, it said. The company sees gas output of a 10 million cubic meters a day from the KG 98/2 block by May-June next year, it stated.

The major areas of focus still include deepwater field operations, sustained production from current assets, and extensive exploration in both known basins and frontier plays, he added.

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