Oil exploration to start in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, July 11: The Centre is looking for oil and natural gas in Meghalaya.
Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli said exploration for oil and natural gas will soon start in Meghalaya besides Mizoram and Nagaland.
“We have come to know there is oil and gas in some places in these states,” he said while replying to a query on the increasing prices of fuel and LPG in the country.
Teli said India imports 83% of its oil and gas and when the prices in the international market go up, the Centre is forced to increase the prices of petrol and LPG.
“I am a citizen and I also want the prices to come down but we are forced to revise prices as and when international prices go up,” the minister said.
The Northeast, he said, has substantial reserves of oil and natural gas and exploration could help the country be less dependent on imported oil for prices to be kept in check.
Teli also said that gas pipelines would be laid across all the Northeastern states.
He said the project to lay the gas pipeline would be executed by Indradhanush Gas Grid Ltd which is a joint venture of Indian Oil, ONGC, GAIL, Oil India and Numaligarh Refinery. “Under this project Meghalaya too is included. This pipeline will extend till Shillong and we want the work to start as soon as possible,” Teli said.
Stating that recently tenders for five blocks were invited, he said Meghalaya was not included but tender for the state will be invited soon.
Last year, the research wing of Oil India Limited (OIL) discovered a thermogenic gas reserve with high methane content in Umphniang village near Dangar in East Khasi Hills. The discovery was made while the team had visited the site to collect samples from a reported gas seepage.
The area where the seepage is located lies near an erstwhile exploration block operated by the Oil and Natural Gas Commission in the 1990s. The place is close to the India-Bangladesh border and in proximity to the Chhatak gas field in the neighbouring country.
Preliminary laboratory analyses conducted at OIL’s Research and Development Centre in Duliajan, Assam, indicated the gas to be of thermogenic origin (relating to or involving the production of heat) with high methane content.

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