Bastia fights for Pragati-1 drilling clearance

Vol 19, PW 8 (17 Dec 15) Exploration & Production

When he was Reliance exploration boss Rabi Bastia had an army of underlings to help him with the day-to-day drudgery of getting permission to drill a well.

Today Bastia is experiencing it first-hand as director of tiny explorer Omkar Resources. Writing to the environment ministry on November 16 he complains about the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s unwillingness to approve a Consent to Establish (CTE) application for Pragati-1 - Omkar’s first exploration well at CB-ONN-2005/5, one of its two blocks in Gujarat.

In dispute, explains Bastia, is a “mismatch” of Pragati-1 well coordinates in the company’s Environmental Clearance approved on July 22, 2013 with new coordinates in a CTE application to the GPCB. Bastia stresses Omkar moved the well location 800 metres to avoid disruption to nearby villagers but also after seismic interpretation.

“Final selection of drilling locations is always based on newly acquired seismic and physical ground surveys,” complains Bastia. “Despite following best practice our CTE application has been rejected twice - on August 19 and September 29 (2015).

” Ending his letter, Bastia asks the environment ministry to change the well coordinates of Pragati-1 (from 23° 05’ 36.76” and 72° 44’ 46.53” to 23° 05’ 52.49” and 72° 45’ 10.79”) so Omkar can re-submit its CTE application. “Consent for Pragati-1,” says Bastia, “will not be granted till the coordinates in our CTE application and EC application match.