Lal Thanhawala wants E&P at ex-Naftogaz block

Vol 22, PW 4 (29 Nov 18) Exploration & Production

There's long been talk of a 'New Mizoram' or 'Zoram Thar' among local evangelists who want 'God's government' in this remote northeastern state of 1m people.

That might take a miracle but as Mizoram goes to the polls Congress chief minister Lal Thanhawla is concerned with more earthly matters. Speaking to this report, he lashed out at the central government for failing to revive E&P at MZ-ONN-2004/2 in south Mizoram.

"There are three oil and gas blocks in Mizoram," he tells this report, ahead of state elections on November 28. "The southern part (MZ-ONN-2004/2) is rich in oil and gas but in spite of reminding the oil ministry they have done nothing."

He adds the PSC was signed more than 10 years ago but work is yet to begin - possibly unaware that in January 2013 the DGH stripped operator Naftogaz of the 3619-sq km block after it falsely claimed to be a subsidiary of Naftogaz Ukraine. Lal Thanhawla asks why nothing has been done to re-offer the block? With no sign of NELP-X there's no obvious answer.

Lal Thanhawla also complained about Oil India's pace of work at MZ-ONN-2004/1 in central Mizoram where he helped the company secure a three-year Phase-I extension in September 2017 so it could drill three exploration wells. Oil India spud the first of these (MZ-2) wells near Phulmawi on November 15 using a 2000-hp Quippo rig after which it will move to well MZ-8 at Thenzawl.