• Amid local protests against hydrocarbon projects, ONGC mulling drilling 104 wells in Cauvery asset

    Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), India’s state-owned hydrocarbon explorer and producer, is planning to drill around 104 wells in its Cauvery asset off the east coast at a cost of Rs 1,560 crore, the company said in an application seeking approval from the environment ministry.

    The Cauvery asset is headquartered in Karaikal, Puducherry. The plan comes amid major local protests against hydrocarbon projects down south, including neighboring Tamil Nadu.

    “The present proposal is for obtaining EC for 104 locations from 16 oil and gas fields in eleven ML blocks of Cauvery Asset,” the company said, adding the average cost of drilling each development well is around Rs 15 crore and it has made 33 oil and gas discoveries in the Cauvery Basin so far.

    Opposition political parties in Tamil Nadu had earlier this year staged protests against permission granted by the environment ministry to Vedanta and ONGC to conduct environmental impact assessment for exploration of hydrocarbons in the state.

    Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy had in May told media he would not grant permission to Vedanta for exploration of oil and gas in the union territory.

    According to ONGC’s 2017-2018 annual report, Cauvery basin is coming up as an important area for basement play with encouraging results in Mattur West-I and Pundi-8. The company in order to develop discoveries in basement geographies has already started implementing the approved Field Development Plan for Pandanullur field.

    Also, the company has identified 9 sites in the Cauvery basin for exploration of shale gas/oil.

    The rock layer below the economic hydrocarbon reservoirs is referred to as basement in upstream, oil and gas sometimes migrate into older rocks forming basement reservoirs.

    ONGC’s crude oil production from onshore nomination fields in Tamil Nadu during the first three months (April-June) of the current financial year (2019-2020) increased to 79 Thousand Tonne (TMT), as compared to 69 TMT produced in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

    The company’s natural gas production from onshore nomination field in Tamil Nadu during the quarter declined to 283 Million Cubic Meter, as compared to 297 Million Cubic Meter in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

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