Oil India begins exploration for oil and gas in Andaman sea
Oil India Ltd, the nation’s second-biggest state-owned oil producer, on Thursday said it has started exploring for oil and gas in the Andaman sea.
OIL said it has begun acquiring seismic data on the shallow water blocks AN-OSHP-2018/1 and AN-OSHP-2018/2, which the company had won in the third round of open acreage licensing policy.
The results of the seismic survey would help the firm decide on drilling of wells on the block that could yield oil and gas.
The firm has “deployment of a state-of-the-art multi-purpose seismic data acquisition vessel ‘SW Vespucci’ for the acquisition of 8,400 line-kilometre of 2D seismic data,” OIL said in a statement.
“The exploration efforts in Andaman offshore are being resumed after a long period of time,” it said.
OIL was the first company to commence 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition in any onshore open acreage licensing policy (OALP) block in the country. It is also the first company to complete the committed seismic work programme in an onshore OLAP block.
This, OIL said, was in line with the vision of Prime Minister for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by raising domestic exploration and production to cut dependence on imports for oil and gas needs.
OIL Chairman and Managing Director Sushil Chandra Mishra said the company has drawn up plans to intensify its exploration efforts in the country and increase exploration capex in the coming years.
The data acquisition in Mahanadi onland blocks in Odisha would begin shortly and the exploration drilling campaign in its OALP blocks would commence during 2021-22, he said. OIL plans to carry out about 15,000 line-kilometre of 2D and 4,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic as well as drill 66 wells in OALP blocks in the next 3-4 years.
OIL was awarded 21 blocks spread over Assam and Assam Arakan basin, Rajasthan, Mahanadi Onland, Andaman and Kerala-Konkan offshore basins.
This consolidated the firm’s position as the leading operator in the North-East with a total acreage area of 17,000 sq km, the statement said.
“The company has been actively participating in the OALP rounds in an endeavour to intensify exploration and is expecting two more blocks under OALP-V in the state of Assam which would take the acreage position of OIL in the northeast to over 20,000 sq km,” it said. Apart from consolidating its position in north-east and Rajasthan, OIL has made efforts to carry out exploration in Category II & III sedimentary basins in line with the government’s thrust for exploration.