Exploration of oil and gas reserves in Bihar

UK firm has started to explore oil, gas reserves in surrounding areas of Ganga basins in Bihar. There is a big hope from this project and if it proves successful, then it increase the development process of Bihar and surrounding areas. Read on...

BIHAR MAY become the next big hope for oil and natural gas in India with UK-based company, Cairn Energy Search Ltd(CESL) and its sister concern in India, Cairn Petroleum India Limited(CPIL), all set to start oil exploration in the state, particularly the districts in Ganga's basin by the end of this month.

Bihar is one of the 55 blocks selected for oil exploration under the New Exploration Licensing Policy gloated by the Government of India. The company was awarded the contract for petroleum exploration on February 6, 2004 and Bihar government formally gave a Petroleum Exploration Licence to the company on June 8, 2005. "The exploration work was to start in Feb., 2006, but due to objections raised by the defence ministry, it got delayed," said Rameshwar Singh, Secretary of Department of Mines and Geology.

The CESL will be carrying out the exploration project for seven years in 12 districts of the state spread over 15,500 sq. km. The districts selected for exploration include Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Supaul, Madhepura, Saharsa, Khagaria, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Purnia, parts of Patna and Munger.

The entire exploration process has been divided into three phases. The CESL has hired the services of a Canadian company for the survey and a specially designed, hi-tech plane has been hired from Canada for the purpose. According to independent estimates, there is a high possibility of reserves in the Ganga basin and it could be as high as 465 million tonnes of crude and natural gas.

The State government is also delighted will the exploration project because if it proves fruitful, the State government would get 10 per cent royalty for every tonne extracted.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that oil exploration procedure is being taken up in the State. The ONGC had worked on Ganga basin for one-and-half years. "They even carried out 2-4 drilling in Madhubani and Purnia but it proved unsuccessful," said Jaiprakesh, assistant director in the mines and geology department, government of Bihar.


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