OIL seeks Khandu’s help  for early forest clearance for exploration

GUWAHATI: The public sector Oil India Limited (OIL) has urged Arunachal Pradesh government for early issuance of Forest Clearances (FC) for the identified blocks so that Environment Clearance can be obtained from the Central Ministry to begin survey and exploration of hydro-carbon fuels in the Himalayan state.

A high-level official delegation of  the OIL on Monday met Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu in this regard.

Khandu assured the OIL officials of all cooperation and support in their endeavors in Arunachal Pradesh. He said his office is always open to any coordination and support required by OIL while directing the concerned department to fast-track the issuance of forest clearances wherever needed.

Khandu pointed that the state government is giving top priority in investment, employment and revenue generation in which companies like OIL can become important allies.

“Geology and mining is a very important sector that has not drawn much attention of the government in the past. But today we are aware of its huge potential and we are opening up in a big way for exploration and tapping it for a better future of our people,” he said.

The OIL has 7 blocks of interest in Arunachal Pradesh mostly in the eastern parts, which also share boundaries with Assam. As parts of few of these blocks fall in reserve forest or wildlife sanctuaries, exploration in these parts are yet to start for want of requisite clearances. While OIL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) for the Namchik and Jairampur Extension blocks are still valid, PEL for the Demoali block is under process with the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

The officials requested early issuance of Forest Clearances (FC) for the identified blocks so that Environment Clearance can be obtained from the Central Ministry to begin survey and exploration.

The OIL has paid about Rs 5 crores to the state government as royalty last financial year. With the increase in production levels, they said, this would shoot up in coming years.

Giving the status on the proposed cross-country pipeline project that would start from Kumchai (Kharsang) in Arunachal Pradesh to OIL’s Duliajan fuel gathering station (FGS) in Assam, the OIL officials said that a detail project report including soil survey and cadastral land survey will be submitted to the state government by 2nd week of October next.

The proposed cross country pipeline would cover a distance of 60 kms of which 18.85 kms will be within Arunachal territory.

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