Manipur promises Oil India help to complete 2D

Vol 23, PW 2 (14 Nov 19) People & Policy

Asian Oilfield had little luck shooting 870-lkm 2D for Oil India in Manipur, where three of its workers were kidnapped, but state authorities hope to re-launch the stalled survey soon, possibly with another contractor.

This report learns Manipur state authorities met Oil India and Asian Oilfield officials in Imphal from October 25-26 (2019) to discuss the resumption of the DGH-promoted National Seismic Programme in Manipur, which Asian abandoned last year after shooting only 4.74-lkm 2D. Speaking to this report on a call from Imphal, Paulunthang Vaiphei, principal secretary in Manipur's textiles, commerce and industries departments, confirmed the meetings took place.

"We (the state government) will begin an awareness campaign this month (November) or next month (December) to remove misconceptions among local people (about the seismic survey)," he said. Vaiphei added Oil India will have to float a fresh tender for the unfinished 2D.

"Oil India said it needs six months to issue and finalise any tender," added Vaiphei, confirming the last survey was suspended because of kidnappings. He complained that Asian pulled out of the last assignment "without informing us about the security issue" and lamed "a communication gap."

But this time he believes things will go better because the government is determined to set up a "more robust mechanism to ensure no repeat," alluding to better security measures and the awareness programme to convince local people the seismic survey is no threat.