Oil India planning 35 wells at Ningru PML

Vol 22, PW 11 (21 Mar 19) Exploration & Production

With only four years left before its licence expires, Oil India is racing to drill 35 wells at its promising Ningru PML block in remote Arunachal Pradesh.

Oil India managers visited the 427-sq km block in mid-March to begin preparations for public hearings to clear the drilling programme after an EIA report prepared by consultancy ERM was sent to the Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board on February 8 (2019). Of the 35 locations, 33 are at the promising Kumchai field in Changlang district and two in a new area named NMA in Namsai district.

"All 35 wells will be clubbed together as a single project for the purpose of clearances," reports a company source. "Ten will be exploration wells and the rest development.

Many are in the same plinth (drilling area) as old wells. But approvals are needed anyway."

He adds the NMA area is likely to have a three-hectare drilling area but Oil India might need to acquire more land to build roads to transport the rig and equipment. Oil India is also chasing the DGH to extend the PML beyond 2023 claiming it had no time to do any work at the block between November 26 (2003) when the PML ran out and May 7 (2018) when it was renewed by the government.

"More time is needed before drilling can begin," says a source. "For that the Ningru lease must be extended."