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Arunachal nod to OIL survey

OIL officials had urged the state government for early issuance of forest clearances to the identified blocks
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu hands over the licences to Inderjit Baruah in Itanagar on Wednesday

Damien Lepcha   |   Itanagar   |   Published 18.12.19, 10:52 PM

Arunachal Pradesh has granted licences (PEL) to Oil India Limited (OIL) for petroleum exploration in seven new blocks and also extended the licence in Jairampur block.

Chief minister Pema Khandu handed over the licences to OIL chief general manager Inderjit Baruah and his team on Wednesday morning.

In a meeting with the chief minister last September, OIL officials had urged the state government for early issuance of forest clearances to the identified blocks so that environment clearance could be obtained from the Centre to begin survey and exploration.

Baruah thanked Khandu for completing the process within a short span of time, enabling OIL to start its explorations this month. The exploration blocks awarded to OIL spreads across Changlang, Tirap, Lohit, East Siang, West Siang and Lower Dibang Valley districts.

Wishing OIL the best, Khandu requested the public sector undertaking (PSU) to keep in loop with the local administration during exploration, which includes explosions, so that people in the vicinity can be intimated in advance besides putting in place precautionary measures.

He also suggested that the PSU may adopt public utility facilities like roads, which are exclusively used by the company. This, he said, would facilitate better cooperation and support from the local populace. Khandu also urged for providing services to the locals through the PSU’s corporate social responsibility activities.

The chief minister said a part of the royalties received through such projects should be utilised on development and welfare of the local people. He asked chief secretary Naresh Kumar, who attended the meeting, to ensure this by putting in a place a robust mechanism.

“Local people should get first preference on the benefits from the project,” he added.

Khandu was informed that exploration of each block includes two phases viz initial and subsequent explorations. Exploration period of each phase is about three years with a provision for additional one year. The total exploration period is of eight years.

The grant of licences for these blocks would lead to significant increase in exploration and production activities in the oil sector in Arunachal Pradesh.

In the long run, discoveries from these blocks would enhance domestic production of petroleum and reduce India’s import dependence.

To accelerate exploration activities in the country, the Centre had offered 55 exploration blocks spread across offshore and onshore areas under the hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy and open acreage licensing policy bid round I.

The directorate general of hydrocarbon, ministry of petroleum and natural gas had conducted bidding of exploration blocks from January 19 to May 2 last year.

Under the bidding process, OIL bagged nine blocks, seven of which fall in Arunachal.

In addition, the ministry also granted the Jairampur extension petroleum exploration licences block, measuring around 23.25 square km, falling under Changlang district to OIL on nomination basis.

An OIL official said a detailed project report on the proposed pipeline from Kumchai (Kharsang) in Arunachal to OIL’s Duliajan station in Assam for transportation of natural gas has been submitted to the state government.

The proposed cross-country pipeline will cover 60km, of which 18.85km will be within the Arunachal territory.

Once it starts commissioning, natural gas can be put to commercial use.


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