Exploration set to resume in Nagaland

Vol 3, PW 17 (15 Sep 99) News in Brief

Senior ONGC officials are confident of an early resumption of exploration activity in the state of Nagaland in Indias Frontier north-east.

"We are ready to start work as soon as the Nagaland government gives us the go-ahead", said KK Jagati, head of the Eastern Regional Business Centre at Nazira in Assam, "It will take us six to nine months of execution time to produce oil". In 1994, ONGC abandoned Nagaland after a series of terrorist bomb attacks against its personnel.

Talks are now underway between ONGC and the state government to allow its return under new terms. Any agreement is contingent on acceptance by a number of renegade terror outfits seeking independence.

Preliminary estimates suggest Nagaland has in place oil reserves of 555m tonnes. Jagati said ONGC has drilled 34 proven oil wells in Nagaland, including two "with a considerable volume of natural gas".