Oil and Natural Gas Corporation or ONGC is India’s leading producer and explorer of oil and gas. ONGC is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) which is owned and operated by the Indian government’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry. The head office of ONGC is in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Before ONGC, private sector firms such as Assam Oil used to carry out exploration and production of oil and gas. Things changed in 1955 when upon realising the growing importance of the oil and gas sector in the Indian economy, the Central Government decided to set up a public sector undertaking to operate in this industry. Thus, Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was established in 1955. On August 14, 1956, Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was converted into a commission. The entity was rebranded as Oil & Natural Gas Commission. In 1965, ONGC incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary, ONGC Videsh. The subsidiary would carry out exploration, development and production of oil and gas outside India. The firm expanded considerably in the following years with the discovery of oil and gas sites across the country. In the 1970s, ONGC ventured into offshore drilling and discovered a massive oil field in the Arabian Sea called the Mumbai High which proved to be a game changer in the oil and natural gas sector. The Indian government converted ONGC into a corporation in 1994. Following this, the firm was rebranded as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in 1994. In the same year, ONGC issued its Initial Public Offer (IPO). 1997 was the year when ONGC was recognised as a Navratna by the Indian government. In 2010, the company was recognised as a Maharatna. The company is often ranked as the biggest profit-making PSU of the government. 2018 was a significant year for ONGC when it acquired a majority stake in Indian petroleum giant Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
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ONGC is in the business of oil drilling and natural gas exploration. It has discovered eight out of the nine oil-producing basins in the country. It discovered the Vindhyan Basin in 2022. The company operates overseas via its subsidiary ONGC Videsh. The subsidiary owns and operates 32 oil and gas assets spread across 15 countries. ONGC is also in the oil refining, supply and distribution business through its subsidiaries Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) and HPCL. ONGC subsidiary Petronet MHB Limited (PMHBL) is in the business of transportation of petroleum products across India.
Shares of ONGC are listed on BSE, NSE, Bangalore Stock Exchange, Hyderabad Stock Exchange, etc. It is a part of multiple indices like Nifty 50, Nifty 500, S&P BSE 500 etc.
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