Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan addresses a gathering at Taranga village in Balasore on Wednesday. Telegraph picture
Balasore, Oct. 12: A seismic survey to ascertain sediments of hydrocarbons in the subsurface of Mahanadi basin started at a village in Khaira block of the district today.
The event, involving nearly Rs 100 crore, was inaugurated by Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan at Taranga in Khaira block of Balasore district. State's minister for steel and mines Prafulla Mallick was also present on the occasion.
The seismic survey is being jointly carried out by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).
The procedure of the survey is to carry out blasts in the prospective areas by using dynamites and study the sound wave.
"The data after the blast would be acquired, processed and interpreted by scientists. And if it is found that the patch has enough reserve or oil and natural gas, then exploration would be made," said S.K. Bose, general manager of ONGC.
"The objective of the survey is to study sediments for hydrocarbons and assess the potential. The Mahanadi basin is one of 26 sedimentary basins in the country where such a survey is being carried out," said chairman and managing director of ONGC Dinesh Sharraf.
"This survey is expected to provide important data about the hydrocarbon potential in the Indian subsurface," he said.
Pradhan said: "In the eighties, surveys were conducted in the Mahanadi basin and other areas to determine the presence of oil and natural gas. But they were abandoned due to various reasons. Now, the state government has decided to conduct fresh surveys and Rs 5,000 crore has been earmarked for it. Out of it, about Rs 100 crore will be spent in Odisha," said Pradhan.
"In Odisha, similar seismic survey programmes will be conducted in Bhadrak, Jajpur, Puri and Chilika," he said, adding that the project aims to complete 75 per cent appraisal by 2020 and rest by 2025.
"India produces about 20 per cent of the required oil and natural gas and the rest is being imported. If more patches are found after the survey, then the country can save a huge amount," said Mallick.