While dedicating the Asokenagar discovery to the nation, Pradhan said that the discovery would play a role for India’s energy security. He stated that the discovery would definitely add to the commitment towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for reducing oil import dependence.
The Union Minister congratulated ONGC and said that with this discovery, around seven decades of relentless endeavours by scientists and engineers of India have borne fruits, giving new hope for robust development of West Bengal.
“The Indian government is committed to fully support ONGC to make this a turning point in its strive to bring more oil and gas from the subsurface of West Bengal and help to bring a new phase of prosperity for the state and its people along-with local employment,” he said.
According to a release by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, the ONGC took a major step by commencing oil production from the well Asokenagar-1, Bengal Basin in 24 Paragana district.
“The well Asoknagar-1 was completed as an oil producer under Early-Monetization Plan issued by Government of India. This makes ONGC having discovered and put to production seven out of the eight producing basins of India covering 83 per cent of established oil & gas reserves,” it said.
ONGC is India’s largest oil and gas producer contributing 72 per cent of the country’s hydrocarbon production.
The ONGC said that the well Asokenagar-1 has heralded the end of the painstaking search for hydrocarbons in the region by sending its first hydrocarbon consignment produced during well testing to IOCL’s Haldia Oil Refinery done earlier on November 5, 2020.
Re-energised by this discovery and eager to script more success stories in the newly awarded OALP acreages in the Bengal Basin, ONGC has already set aside a sling of fresh geoscientific activities.
“These comprise appraisal programme of Asokenagar discovery for an area of about 739 sq. km. including 3D seismic, Low-Frequency Passive Seismic (LFPS) Survey and drilling of two wells, besides acquiring roughly 1300 LKM of 2D, 2900 SKM of 3D and drilling of 13 wells in the next three years in the newly awarded acreages,” read the release.
The Bengal Basin is spread across nearly 1.22 lakh square kilometres, with nearly two-thirds of it falling under the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
As per the release, ONGC has invested Rs 3,361 crores to explore hydrocarbon in the Bengal Basin till now. Rs 425 crores will be spent on exploration activities in the basin in the coming two years.
Pradhan was accompanied by Jyotirmay Singh Mahato, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Shashi Shanker, CMD, ONGC and Directors of ONGC during the event held at the production site of Asokenagar, around 50 Km from state capital Kolkata.
He commenced the formal production of oil by switching on the Sucker Rod Pump (SRP) amidst a select gathering of senior officials, following Covid protocols. The minister also visited the geophysical party camp and witnessed the seismic data collection being done for appraisal program of Asokenagar block.