MUMBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Indian state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp said on Monday it was aiming to start natural gas production by mid-2018 and oil production a year after that from its block off India's east coast.
The country's largest oil and gas explorer said it had initiated field development at its block in the Krishna-Godavari basin, which it plans to develop in four clusters.
ONGC, which has struggled to maintain production from its ageing wells off India's west coast, is counting on the potentially large reserves of oil and gas from the KG-D5 block to boost future profits.
Estimated reserves for the block are 121 million metric tonnes of oil in place and 78.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of initial gas in place for the northern discovery area and 80.8 bcm for the southern discovery area, ONGC said in a statement.
The company won the block in a government auction in the year 2000 and has been hurt by delays in reaching production.
The company's D5 Block (KG-D5) in the Bay of Bengal sits adjacent to Reliance Industries Ltd's producing D6 block, and ONGC has accused Reliance of drawing gas from fields owned by it.
Reporting by Aman Shah in Mumbai; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi