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ONGC's lucky mascot

India's multinational oil and gas firm bought its first offshore rig in 1973. Since then, the Sagar Samrat has become a stalwart for the country's oil output

In the early 1950s, when India was still wrestling with post-independence teething troubles, finding oil was urgent. Prophets of doom-particularly those among western experts-were many, all too ready to write off Indian sedimentary basins as devoid of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) was set up in August 1956 as a national oil company amid this widespread scepticism. The organisation set about disproving the many gloomy predictions, and made its first discovery in Cambay in September 1958. It followed up with another find in Ankleshwar in May 1960. The hat-trick was completed when oil was struck near Rudrasagar in Assam in December of the same year. India n

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