ONGC starts oil and gas production from West Bengal after 60 years endeavour

By: |
December 21, 2020 4:15 AM

ONGC first extracted 20 kilolitres of crude oil from the Ashoknagar oilfields early November this year and had sent it to Indian Oil’s Haldia refinery for processing.

This compares to 90,000 sq km of area awarded in nine rounds of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and pre-NELP awards in the previous two decades.An ONGC official told FE that the Ashoknagar oil fields will also produce gas to the extent of 1 lakh cubic meters a day and oil between 15-18 cubic meters (1 cubic meter equals to 1,000 litres) a day.

West Bengal gets included in ONGC’s oil and gas map with its eighth field at Ashoknagar in West Bengal starting commercial production on Sunday. ONGC first extracted 20 kilolitres of crude oil from the Ashoknagar oilfields early November this year and had sent it to Indian Oil’s Haldia refinery for processing.

Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Oil & natural gas and steel minister, flagging off the commercial production through switching on sucker road pump, said: “ONGC so far has invested rS 3,361 crore for exploration of hydrocarbon in the Bengal basin to find oil and gas reserves. Another Rs 425 crore would be spent on exploration in the Bengal basin spread over 1.22 lakh km, two-third of which falls under the Bay of Bengal waters.”

ONGC will dig 13 wells in the coming three years in the newly awarded acreages under the open acreage licensing policy. It has started fresh geoscientific activities comprised of appraisal programme, Pradhan said. The last round of bidding was done in January 2020.

The appraisal programme of Ashoknagar discovery for an area of about 739 sq km would include 3D seismic, low frequency passive seismic survey and drilling wells besides acquiring 1300 LKM (line kilometre) of 2D and 2900 SKM (square kilometre) of 3D. Pradhan said India was currently producing 83% of its oil and gas reserves of which ONGC accounts for 72% of the country’s hydrocarbon production.

An ONGC official told FE that the Ashoknagar oil fields will also produce gas to the extent of 1 lakh cubic meters a day and oil between 15-18 cubic meters (1 cubic meter equals to 1,000 litres) a day.

In Ashoknagar gas was first found under 2,300 meters from the surface after came oil. ONGC and Oil India were awarded the block in Bengal basin under the Mahanadi-Bengal- Andaman division, way back in 2009. The first phase of exploration got over in 2014. The huge reserves of oil and gas were found in the second phase with commercial exploitability confirmed on August 20, 2018.

For 60 years ONGC has been trying to get oil and gas reserves in West Bengal digging 150 wells in the process. But it’s first discovery happened in Ashoknagar on 3.5 acres.

ONGC plans to dig 100 wells and for that would require 300-350 acres, the official said ONGC has already issued a license to the Ashoknagar oilfields for selling their crude and gas, the official said.

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