GUWAHATI, March 20 - The future of the oil industry in the North East region looks bright as prominent geologists of the world have declared the area as one of the 25 �super basin� areas of the world. Moreover, the new policy adopted by the Government of India is also likely to give a boost to oil and gas exploration in the region.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chairman cum Managing Director of the Oil India Limited (OIL), Utpal Bora said that as the North East is recognized as one of the 25 super basin areas of the world, this means, there are rich hydro carbon resources in the region, which are yet to be tapped and there is great opportunity to increase production of crude oil and natural gas.
The OIL CMD said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has entrusted the OIL with the responsibility of carrying out a mega geophysical survey of the region under the national seismic programme to locate hydrocarbon resources in the region and the entire fund for the survey would be provided by the Government of India. The survey is expected to be completed by May, 2019 and then a picture of the hydrocarbon reserves in the North East region would be known so that aggressive exploration work can be started.
The new Hydrocarbon Exploration Policy of the Government of India is also going to give a boost to exploration for crude oil and gas in the North East region. On its part, the OIL has also placed bids for exploration in 12 fields including nine in Assam, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Krishna-Godavari basin. Bora expressed the hope that the OIL would be successful in improving oil and gas production through the new explorations. The new policy of the Government will also encourage other companies like the ONGC and private players to place bids for exploration. The overall scenario in the oil sector is likely to witness a major boost in the days to come, he added.
Bora said that the Government�s move to lay a gas pipeline to Assam from Barauni and formation of a joint venture to connect the major towns and cities of the region with gas pipelines would be a major boost to the industrial sector including power sector, while, at the same time, it would be possible to supply piped gas to households and set up CNG stations.
The OIL is also planning to explore the �fold belt� areas in the North East, which have remained unexplored. Bora pointed out that the preliminary survey on the bed of the river Brahmaputra could not be taken up earlier due to opposition by some organizations, but the situation has now changed and the OIL is hoping that it would be able to start the survey now.