Upstream company for Nagaland

Vol 13, PW 7 (10 Sep 09) News in Brief

Nagaland is the latest Indian state to announce it wants to set up its own exploration company.

Nagaland chief minister Nephieu Rio tells PETROWATCH his government has decided to set up, “our own hydrocarbon exploration company, so that we gain from our oil and gas reserves both ways, from royalty and from production.â€‌ With a population of 2m, Nagaland borders Assam to the west, and Myanmar to the east.

“If we have a company that earns from our oil and gas,â€‌ adds Rio, “we can give all the Naga people an opportunity to invest.â€‌ Naga separatists have for long waged a guerilla war against rule from Delhi, making exploration difficult.

In 1994, ONGC was expelled from Changpang - its only producing asset in the state - and has only this year begun making tentative attempts to return. Poorly explored but undoubtedly prospective, ONGC estimated in-place reserves in Nagaland at a conservative 2.69m tonnes (20m barrels) before it was expelled.