DIBRUGARH, May 20 - Oil India Limited (OIL) today clarified that the proposed drilling activity for crude oil at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park will be an eco-friendly oil exploration activity. The company said it will deploy the Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) technology, and claimed that this will have no impact on the flora and fauna of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. ERD technology is also known as horizontal drilling. Under this process, the drilling rig will be located far outside the national park, and the oil/gas extraction pipes will travel horizontally deep under the earth�s surface, to reach the desired places of potential oil reserves.
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has accorded environmental clearance for extension drilling and testing of Hydrocarbons at 7 locations under Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Tinsukia district to the company. This information as per statutory requirement was published as newspaper advertisements.
�It has been observed that post publication of the advertisement certain section of the stakeholders have expressed their concern assuming that OIL will be operating inside the national park. In this regard, OIL management would like to share the following information for the benefit of all stakeholders so that they can be reassured that OIL�s operations will have no impact on the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Area,� said an OIL press release.
In order to tap the hydrocarbon resources underneath the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, OIL had approached statutory bodies for obtaining necessary permissions in the year 2016 on the basis of the Extended Reach Drilling (ERD) technology, which will enable OIL to drill for hydrocarbon without drilling inside the national park.
OIL went through an elaborate process for obtaining the necessary approvals from statutory bodies like MoEF&CC after fulfilling the stringent guidelines and adhering to various compliances and establishing the fact that OIL will not enter the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Area.
OIL will be able to accomplish this task of exploring hydrocarbon reserves under the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park by use of the ERD technology. ERD techniques are extensively used to intersect hydrocarbon targets far from the surface or areas of the reservoir which otherwise are difficult to access. By using this technology wells can be drilled up to a depth of approximately 4 kilometres from the existing well plinth without entering the protected area. Through ERD technology, OIL will reach the target depth of around 3.5 Kms beneath the surface of the National Park without carrying out any drilling activity inside the national park. This is a state of the art technology where drilling will take place around at an average more than 1.5 kms outside the demarcated area of the national park where OIL already is carrying out hydrocarbon exploration since last fifteen years, in the Baghjan area of the Tinsukia district.
�If commercial viability of hydrocarbon production is established, then production of oil and gas will help in meeting energy needs of the country and will also lead to socioeconomic development of the area and its vicinity,� the press release added. The commercial production from this area shall enable OIL to meet 10 per cent reduction in imports and also fulfilling North East Vision 2030 for energy security.