OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 3: Oil India Ltd (OIL), an Upper Assam based exploration and production giant will start exploring oil and gas from undiscovered reserves including the mighty Brahmaputra’s riverbed.
Chairman & Managing Director of OIL Utpal Bora told The Sentinel on Thursday that there are huge untapped hydro carbon resources in the North East and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has already entrusted the OIL with the responsibility of carrying out a mega geophysical survey of the North East under the National Seismic Programme (NSP) to locate hydrocarbon resources in the region. Under the NSP, the OIL will survey for oil and gas from unapprised locations in Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and the riverbed of the Brahmaputra in Assam, he said.
“The survey is expected to be completed by June, 2019. Indications of hydrocarbon reserves in the North East region will be known once the survey is completed. The survey will help us to go for aggressive exploration of oil and gas.” Bora said.
Bora said OIL has also placed bids for exploration of oil and gas in 18 blocks including 13 in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, 3 in Rajasthan and one in Krishna-Godavari basin under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration Policy of the Government of India. He expressed the hope that the company will be successful in exploring oil and gas from the new exploration sites.
On other hand after witnessing a slide in production for a few years, OIL has been successful to preventing further slide during the financial year 2016-17 by recording one per cent increase in crude oil production. Bora said in the last financial year (2017-18) the OIL has been able to enhance crude production by at least three to four per cent.
According to Bora the turnaround of crude oil production was achieved despite the fact that majority of the oilfields under his company are 50 to 60 years old and almost reached the saturation point. Besides dedication and sincerity of all employees of the company, the OIL CMD attributed use of innovative technologies to rise in crude production. Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methodology to extract more oil from ageing fields to enhance production of crude is also being planned.
“There was a time when frequent bandhs and other kinds of agitations by different organizations badly affected the OIL’s operation. Once an oil well is closed down for days, it takes a considerable amount of time to revive it to old production level and sometimes the same level cannot be achieved.OIL is now having regular interactions with the Government both at Dispur and at the local level and the losses suffered because of agitations came down substantially in the last few years. Such development can also be attributed to increase crude production,” Bora said.
Asserting that the oil industry has an extremely bright future in North East, Bora said as the region has been recognized as one of the 25 super basin areas of hydrocarbon reserves of the world and the OIL has a long way to make many more explorations.