GUWAHATI: In a significant move, the Assam Government has requested the Central Government to consider the transfer of all the acreages (areas of land under operation) of ONGC to OIL (Oil India Ltd).
In a letter written to the Prime Minister recently, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that ONGC and OIL are the major players in the hydrocarbon industries in the northeastern region.
The letter said, "The areas that are currently under operation have been given to the companies under the nomination regime, and they are the leading operators in the region.
"It has been felt that the operation in the entire northeastern region may be carried out by one major operator, preferably OIL. Almost the entire production of OIL comes from the northeastern region, and hence its focus on exploration and production in this region is undivided. OIL is born in Assam and has been operating there for several decades. The interaction of OIL with the local populace is commendable."
Justifying his stand, the Chief Minister further said, "Oil India is a company rooted in the northeastern region, and it understands the nuances of the region. With more than 90 per cent of employees from the region, the company would be able to focus with undivided attention on the operations and at the same time be sensitive to the aspirations of the local people. OIL can aspire to be the only Maharatna company in our region and would truly reflect the Act East Policy.
"OIL can also endeavour to create a hydrocarbon sector manufacturing/services hub in Assam that can, in the long run, aspire to provide services to the far eastern countries.
"As both are national oil companies, and also as the acreages were awarded under the nomination regime, no issues are envisaged in the transfer of assets by transferring the nominations from ONGC to OIL."