- Puri said that the government is carving out acreages in the North-East and plans to offer them with additional incentives under OALP for attracting investments
- The government also plans to set up a dedicated service provider hub in the north-eastern region to support the requirement of the oil and gas industry
New Delhi: With a view to double the exploration acreage in the north-eastern region (NER) from the existing 30,000 square km to 60,000 square km by 2025, the government plans to hold a special bidding round under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) for the North-East, said Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday. Addressing an event in Guwahati to showcase upstream oil and gas opportunities in North East Region (NER), Puri said that oil and gas projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore are approved and expected to be completed by 2025. This includes major upstream projects worth Rs 27,000 crore and downstream projects of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) worth Rs 30,000 crore, Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited (IGGL) worth Rs 10,000 crore and city gas distribution projects worth Rs 33,000 crore.
Acreages with additional incentives to be offered under OALP in North-East
While pointing out that of the estimated acreages of 7,600 MMTOE in the North-East, only 2,000 MMTOE has been discovered so far, Puri said that the government is carving out acreages in the North-East and plans to offer them with additional incentives under OALP for attracting investments.
The government also plans to set up a dedicated service provider hub in the north-eastern region to support the requirement of the oil and gas industry in collaboration with state governments. The minister added that the implementation of the North East Gas Grid (NEGG) will provide access of natural gas to end-user in north-eastern region. “Six Geographical Area (GAs) comprising of 18 Districts in the State of Assam and Tripura are on offer under the 11th Round of CGD Bid Round for developing the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network,” he added.
“With concerted efforts by industry and governments, oil production is expected to increase by 67 percent from 4.11 MMT in 2020-21 to 6.85 MMT in next 4 years. Gas production is forecasted to more than double from 5.05 BCM in 2020-21 to 10.87 BCM in next 4 years,” said the minister.
Indian Oil’s Digboi Refinery to be expanded
Puri announced that Indian Oil’s Digboi Refinery in Assam will be expanded. He also assured that the issue of blending ethanol with petrol at the refinery level will also be explored.
Calling upon investors to actively participate in the upcoming rounds of OALP and Discovered Small Fields (DSF) and become part of the national E&P enterprise which is set to gather momentum in the days ahead, Puri said that much impetus has been given to the North-East Region in the recent past, which will act as catalyst for the envisaged future growth in the region. Puri appreciated the launch of a web portal by Assam state government for facilitation of statutory clearances and approvals for E&P operators. In this context, he announced that there will be periodic meeting through VC with NE states to sort out the issues.
Assam CM promises full support to E&P investors
Speaking on the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma extended full support of the state government in the exploration activities. He assured that the state government is taking steps for providing early environmental clearances for the oil and gas projects. He said that the contribution of Assam in the oil and gas sector is well-known and he wants the exploration activities to increase fast.
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