Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. – All You Need To Know

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Established in 1956, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), is a big player in India’s energy sector. ONGC has consistently led Oil and Gas exploration, promoting a self-reliant Indian energy landscape. As a public company, it delivers innovative operations and projects, significantly enhancing the national GDP and ensuring a steady energy supply.

This overview will take you through ONGC’s historical evolution, significant milestones, different subsidiaries, and major acquisitions.

About Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

FounderGovernment of India
Industry TypeOil and Gas
Founded14 August 1956
HeadquartersNew Delhi
Key PeopleArun Kumar Singh (Chairman & CEO)
Parent Company/OwnerGovernment of India
Market Cap₹2.36 trillion
Total Number of Employees27,000

Overview of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) bears the respected Maharatna title, standing as India’s top crude oil and natural gas entity. It generates a substantial 71% of the country’s domestic production. This vital crude oil is then converted by downstream corporations, including IOC, BPCL, and ONGC’s own subsidiaries, HPCL and MRPL, into crucial petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, and LPG.

Demonstrating its commitment, ONGC plays a key role in strengthening India’s energy security. Its distinctive feature is comprehensive in-house service capabilities in every aspect of oil and gas exploration, production, and related oil-field services. Recognised as the Best Employer, ONGC’s force of 26,000 professionals tirelessly contributes to its success in challenging environments.

OVL explores global oil and gas, contributing significantly to India’s oil and natural gas production. Operating in 15 countries, it stands as India’s second-largest petroleum company. Another notable subsidiary, MRPL, operates a vast 15.0 MMTPA refinery and, together with ONGC, runs ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL), a leading petrochemical unit.

Moreover, HPCL, another subsidiary, has a vast product pipeline network of over 3370 kms and a widespread marketing network, backed by more than 9,500 dedicated employees across India.

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. History

1956: On 14 August 1956, ONGC was established. This year marked the beginning of an era of oil and natural gas production in India. The central government laid the foundation for ONGC to explore and exploit hydrocarbons in the Indian basin.

1959: In just three years after its establishment, ONGC discovered the first oil in the Cambay basin. This was a moment of triumph as it showcased ONGC’s potential in successfully exploring oil.

1965-67: During this period, ONGC made a giant oil discovery in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. Following this, it made more discoveries in other basins in Assam, a significant boost to the industry and India’s oil reserves.

1970: Another major milestone came in this year. ONGC discovered the Bombay High, a giant oil field off the west coast of India. This was one of the most significant oil discoveries in India, making the nation visible on the global oil map.

1980: ONGC expanded its services to offshore exploration and production, further widening its scope and contributions to India’s energy security.

1993-94: ONGC transformed into a public limited company, widening its horizon and reinforcing its commitment to excellence in the oil and gas sector.

2001: OVL undertook the responsibility for international petroleum projects, marking ONGC’s global footprint.

2003: ONGC made another significant acquisition this year, acquiring a 25% stake in the Greater Nile Oil Project by purchasing Talisman Energy’s stake.

2010: ONGC was recognised as the most valuable Indian company, showing its commitment, excellence in operations, and substantial contribution to the Indian economy.

2018: ONGC acquired the government’s entire 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a major step in consolidating its position in the oil and gas industry.

2020: ONGC is ranked 155th in the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest corporations

Major Subsidiaries of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL)

OVL is the international arm of ONGC, responsible for overseas petroleum exploration and production. It holds various high-value projects, demonstrating its competency in managing large-scale international operations. OVL has expanded its reach to 15 countries. It has 37 oil and gas projects, affirming its global presence and contribution to international oil and gas production. The success of OVL showcases the global competence of ONGC in handling international petroleum projects.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)

As one of India’s major oil refining and marketing companies, HPCL plays a critical role in ensuring the country’s energy security. It owns and operates two major refineries and a vast network of pipelines, ensuring efficient and reliable fuel distribution across India. HPCL’s inception dates back to 1974, and it has achieved numerous accolades for its operational excellence, safety standards, and environmental initiatives. Its robust infrastructure and widespread reach make it a leader in the Indian oil and gas industry.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL)

Specialising in refining and petrochemicals, MRPL is a subsidiary that enhances ONGC’s capabilities in processing and producing various petroleum products and chemicals. MRPL was established in 1988 and has since evolved into a state-of-the-art refinery, with a design to process various types of crude oil. It significantly contributes to the production of value-added petrochemical products in India.

Major Acquisitions by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.

Navigate through ONGC’s notable acquisitions, a journey that reveals not just financial transactions, but a unification of capabilities, commitment, and extensive contributions to the nation and the world.

Acquisition of Talisman Energy’s 25% Stake in the Greater Nile Oil Project

In 2003, ONGC made a strategic move by acquiring a 25% stake in the Greater Nile Oil Project from Talisman Energy. This acquisition reflected ONGC’s commitment to expanding its operations and ensuring a consistent supply of energy resources.
The Greater Nile Oil Project is renowned for its substantial oil production capabilities. It comprises a consortium of leading international oil companies, working collaboratively to harness the rich oil reserves in the region. This acquisition has not only enhanced ONGC’s oil production capacity but also solidified its international presence, showcasing its dedication to global energy security. Over the years, the project has achieved numerous milestones, enhancing oil extraction technologies and contributing significantly to the region’s socio-economic development.

Acquisition of Government’s Entire 51.11% Stake in HPCL

In a monumental deal in 2018, ONGC acquired the government’s entire 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), a major downstream oil company in India. This acquisition marked a significant expansion of ONGC’s portfolio, incorporating downstream operations alongside its robust upstream activities.

HPCL, a popular name in the oil and gas industry, holds an extensive network of refineries, pipelines, and marketing operations. It is a leader in producing and distributing various petroleum products, driving the nation’s industrial and economic growth. The acquisition has allowed ONGC to have a more extensive reach in the oil and gas supply chain, ensuring seamless and integrated operations from exploration to distribution.

This union of two giants reinforces ONGC’s position as a diversified energy company with a comprehensive suite of services and products, contributing extensively to India’s energy security and infrastructure development.

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. Products/Brands

Natural Gas

ONGC is a dominant force in the natural gas sector, meeting nearly 75% of India’s demand. The natural gas extracted by ONGC is used in a variety of sectors including power generation, transportation, and cooking. It is an environmentally friendly fuel, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

ONGC’s relentless pursuit of technological advancements has led to the adoption of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) methods, maximising the extraction of natural gas, and ensuring an abundant and consistent supply to meet the country’s rising demand. The corporation is also actively involved in international collaborations and partnerships, further cementing its position as a global leader in natural gas production and exploration. These endeavours highlight ONGC’s commitment to improving India’s energy infrastructure, promoting sustainable growth and ecological balance, and guaranteeing the country’s energy future.

Crude Oil

ONGC is central to enhancing India’s oil self-sufficiency, ensuring a consistent and robust supply chain. ONGC explores, produces, and refines crude oil, providing the raw material for countless products that you use daily, from petrol and diesel for vehicles to kerosene and LPG used in households, ensuring that your everyday needs are met seamlessly.

The state-of-the-art technology and processes employed by ONGC guarantee the efficient extraction and processing of crude oil, ensuring that the product delivered is of the highest quality. ONGC’s extensive research and development initiatives are consistently focused on improving oil recovery techniques, ensuring the sustainable and efficient utilisation of the country’s oil reserves. Beyond just production, ONGC is committed to environmental stewardship, ensuring that the extraction and processing of crude oil are conducted with minimal environmental impact, safeguarding the planet for future generations.


With a robust structure of subsidiaries and a history of noteworthy acquisitions, ONGC stands as a powerhouse in ensuring India’s energy stability. Offering vital resources like Natural Gas and Crude Oil, the company is a crucial contributor to meeting the country’s energy needs. ONGC’s ongoing commitment to exploration and production highlights its role as a reliable provider for India’s energy requirements, enhancing national growth and sustainability in the energy sector. The company’s continuous effort to strengthen and expand its operations showcases its integral role in the industry and its commitment to the nation’s progress.

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