Kerala Konkan blocks unlikely in NELP-VII

Vol 11, PW 9 (06 Sep 07) News in Brief

Oil ministry officials are believed to oppose the inclusion of Kerala Konkan blocks in the forthcoming NELP-VII licencing round.

The reason, we hear, is because the ministry is inclined to grant ONGC and Reliance’s request to categorise their 15 exploration blocks in the basin as research and development acreage. Reliance and ONGC have not made any discoveries in this basin because conventional techniques have not yielded images or data from below the layer of several kilometres thick basalt rock that covers the basin.

“If the ministry acknowledges that Kerala Konkan has a complex and poorly understood geology,â€‌ asks an observer, “how can it offer exploration blocks in the same basin It makes sense not to offer Kerala Konkan blocks in NELP-VII. In any case there are very few takers for Kerala Konkan blocks.

â€‌ Senior DGH sources say they are unaware of the ministry’s thinking on this issue. Without Kerala Konkan acreage, NELP-VII will offer around 60 blocks.