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OIL: Present imperfect, future tense

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  2 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

BY Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, July 1: Oil is not well, or so it seems!

Workers and staff at the Duliajan-headquartered Oil India Limited have raised an alarm over the alleged scaling down of drilling ambitions by the company, amidst growing apprehensions that the production in the existing wells may decline in the next 15 to 20 years.

There is an increasing clamour within the oil major that the magement has, over the last few years, showed least interest in drilling new rigs, and instead adopted a retrenchment policy privatizing a number of oil wells, mostly in Aruchal Pradesh.

"The company has been far too complacent in recent years. The magement has shown least interest in drilling fresh rigs. It seems to be a conspiracy of an outsider-lobby to spell doom to the company," said an insider who did not wished to be identified.

Currently, there are four key oil fields of OIL in Assam - harkatia (functiol since 1953), Moran (1956), Tengakhat (1973) and Makum (1993). This apart, the OIL had ventured into a number of fields in neighbouring Aruchal Pradesh, but later many of them, like the one at Kharsang, were leased out to private companies. Many are apprehensive that the production in the existing wells might decline in the coming 15 to 20 years.

Around 375 tea gardens, besides the fertilizer and thermal plants at mrup and Assam Gas Company depend on OIL for gas supply. The upcoming BCPL at Lepetkata too is looking for gas supply from OIL.

"The demand for fuel is rising every day, but no measures have been taken by OIL to increase production. The blame solely is on the magement which has not been proactive unlike private companies, despite the immense scope in the region. This lethargy of the magement has left the staff of the company worried and they could see a bleak future ahead of them," said another OIL official.

The workers have also questioned the privatization of the numerous fields in Aruchal Pradesh when the OIL could have done it by itself through a proper expansion plan. "It is clear from the approach of the magement that it is not concerned about the future of the company," they say.

OIL has so far acquired 1510 wells in the Dibrugarh-Tinsukia region and Aruchal Pradesh. Of these, 1002 wells are in the Digboi region. Currently, only 344 wells are fully operatiol, while drilling at the rest are irregular.

As of 2014, the company produced 3.466 MMT of crude oil, 2625.81 MMSCM of tural gas and 46,640 tonnes of LPG. Most of this was produced from its traditiolly rich oil and gas fields concentrated in Northeast and contribute around 80% of total oil and gas produced in the region. However, the search for newer avenues by the OIL has been concentrated more on onshore/ offshore Orissa and Andaman, Cauvery offshore, Tamil du, Arabian Sea, deserts of Rajasthan and onshore Andhra Pradesh.

Oil India Limited (OIL) is the second largest hydrocarbon exploration and production Indian public sector company.

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