Chennai: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is at present carrying out geophysical seismic survey for oil exploration at Tiruvarur district of Tamilnadu.
Addressing a press conference here today, ONGC director – exploration, A K Dwivedi, said, “Exploratory efforts in the State of Tamilnadu has resulted in establishment of 31 oil and gas fields which are producing 700 tonnes of oil per day and about 3.2 million cubic metres of natural gas per day.”
He said the natural gas produced by ONGC contributes to the generation of 650-700 MW power in the State by various power plans including those of TNEB.
Dwivedi said the Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas had entrusted ONGC with the job of carrying out R&D efforts for exploring and assessing the potential of ‘shale gas’ in the sedimentary basins under its operation.
“Accordingly, in the Cauvery basin, one location has been identified in the Kuthalam area for preliminary investigation but exploration can start only once the government formulates a policy for shale gas exploration,” said Dwivedi.
“When the policy is formulated, it should have stringent laws for environmental protection,” added Dwivedi.
During the last five years, ONGC has contributed to Tamilnadu State’s exchequer a total of Rs 1,768 crore royalty and VAT/sales tax. Talking about the effect of ONGC’s operation on agriculture and groundwater, he said, “In places where there were temporary unavoidable damage to crops, ONGC has promptly undertaken remedial measures and generously paid compensation in consultation with the local administration.”
Talking about the issue where ONGC and GAIL were issued a stay order by the NGT in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur, Dwivedi said, “The issue has been solved and the stay order lifted. We did not expect such a scenario in the State after our presence has been here for over 50 years. We were caught unawares.”