In a letter to PM, he says OIL is rooted in the region and is more sensitive to local people’s aspirations
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider transferring all assets of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the northeast to the Oil India Limited (OIL) because of the latter’s roots in the region.
The Chief Minister wrote to the Prime Minister on June 5. A copy of the letter was made available on June 23.
Assam and Assam-Arakan Basin in the northeast are the most prolific sedimentary basins in India. Both the public sector OIL and ONGC are the major operators in the region.
“It has been felt that the operations in the entire north-eastern region may be carried out by one major operator, preferably OIL” as it was born in Assam and had commendable interaction with the local populace, Dr. Sarma wrote.
One of the reasons he cited was that the Assam and Assam-Arakan basin together had an estimated hydrocarbon deposit of 7,634 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent and hold 5,588 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent of yet-to-find resource potential, which was next only to the Krishna-Godavari Basin.
“With the emphasis of the Government of India on intensive exploration and development of Indian sedimentary basins, a single major operator can carry out exploration and production operations in a seamlessly integrated manner with proper deployment of resources,” Dr. Sarma said.
The northeast, he pointed out, accounted for 25% of oil and 44% of gas produced onshore in India (2019-20). With more focussed attention, an integrated company could aspire to increase the production from 4.15 million metric tonnes to around 6 MMT of oil and from the current 4.56 billion cubic metres of gas to around 7 BCM by 2024-25.
“OIL is a company rooted in the north-eastern region and understands the nuances of the region. With more than 90% 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,” the Chief Minister said.
As both were national oil companies and as the acreages were awarded under the nominated regime, there would be no issues in transferring ONGC’s assets to OIL. This would truly reflect on the Act East Policy, he added.
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