TINSUKIA: Amid the raging protest by several organizations over environmental clearance accorded to Oil India Limited for extension of drilling and testing of hydrocarbon at Dibru Saikhowa National Park area, North West of Baghjan PML under Tinsukia district by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoFE&CC) vide letter no J-11011/150/2016-IA II(I) of 11.5.2020, the Oil India Limited issued a press release clarifying its stand but maintained complete silence about the other project- the onshore oil and gas development drilling and production in Mechaki area covering Mechaki Extension Baghjan in Tinsukia Extension PML which is within the 10 km of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and was accorded environmental clearance by the MoFE&CC vide letter no J-11011/1260-IA-II(I) of April 9.
The OIL, in its press release, reassured all stakeholders that OIL's operation would have no impact on the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park area. The OIL will use Extended Reach Drilling Technology (ERD), enabling OIL to drill for hydrocarbon, without drilling inside the National Park nor will OIL enter the National Park. The ERD, a state-of-art technology, is extensively used to intersect hydrocarbon targets far from the surface or areas of the reservoir which otherwise are difficult to access.
Through ERD technology, the drilling will reach the target depth of around 3.5 km beneath the surface of the National Park without carrying out any drilling activity inside the national park. The drilling will take place at an average of more than 1.5 km outside the demarcated area of the national park and OIL reiterated that no disturbance to the environment at the site is envisaged due to use of ERD technology. The press release further mentioned that if commercial viability of hydrocarbon was established then production of oil and gas would help in meeting energy needs of the country and would also lead to socio-economic development of the area and its vicinity. The commercial production from this area would enable OIL to meet the vision of the Prime Minister towards 10 per cent reduction in imports and also fulfilling the North East Vision 2030, the release added.