New Delhi: ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) has got an environment clearance for carrying out onshore exploration, development and production of oil and gas in 100 locations in non-forest area of Assam. The exploration would cost ONGC Rs 3,500 crore, official documents showed. The clearance was granted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to ONGC after taking into account the recommendations of a green panel. In a letter to ONGC, the ministry said, “The EC is however subject to obtaining prior permission from the wildlife angle, including clearance from the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife.”
What does ONGC plan to do?
The exploration and production company plans to carry out drilling in 100 locations in Assam to ascertain the hydrocarbon potential of 21 different onshore Petroleum Mining Lease (PML) blocks in a non-forest area, covering 944.39 km in Assam, and Assam Arakan Basin, covering the whole of the Upper Assam North in Sivasagar district. After establishing the potential, the public sector company will put the field under development and production. The project is expected to cost Rs 3,500 crore.
The news comes as India’s crude oil output in the April-November period settled at its lowest in the past seven years. The total area of Sivasagar district PML is 957.73 square kilometre. In this area, Lakwa, Rudrasagar, Geleki and its adjoining areas are key oil producing fields in North Assam Shelf of Sivasagar district. Over 500 wells (including exploratory wells and development wells) have been drilled in this field with depths ranging from 2,400 metre to 4,200 metre. The clearance has been granted as part of an ongoing exploration effort in various PML areas falling within the three main blocks of North Assam Shelf in Sivasagar district. ONGC produces 70 percent of the countr’s total crude output and 60 percent its natural gas.