Oil India for Assam seismic tender in August

Vol 15, PW 24 (14 Jun 12) Exploration & Production

More than 90% of the block sits in a protected forest area but Oil India is undeterred and confident it can begin exploration.

The block in question is AA-ONN-2010/2, a 396-sq km patch of Assam, most of it in the Dhansiri reserve forest in Karbi Anglong district. This block is one of two NELP-IX blocks where Oil India is preparing to invite EoIs in August to shoot and interpret a total 497-sq km 3D.

The other is AA-ONN-2010/3, a 171-sq km block in Tinsukia district, infamous for its severe terrain and torrential rainfall. Next door to the first block, AA-ONN-2010/2, sits the world famous Kaziranga National Park, with one of the world’s largest tiger populations, plenty of rhinoceroses, wolves, bears, leopards, and the odd grazing elephant.

Wildlife from Kaziranga often spills over into Karbi Anglong, raising concerns. Do tigers, rhinos and E&P go together Apparently so, otherwise why would the DGH and the oil ministry award this block in the first place “We are applying for environment ministry clearance,” says Oil India, buoyed by central government signals of support.

Ever since PMO principal secretary Pulok Chatterjee promised to clear government delays to exploration at 80 blocks in February this year the environment ministry is eager to comply. If he’s right, Oil India plans to issue a limited 3D tender by October and announce a winner by December who can begin the $13m assignment in January and complete it by June 2013.

At AA-ONN-2010/2, Oil India wants to shoot a blanket 396-sq km 3D survey while at AA-ONN-2010/3 it will shoot 101-sq km.