ONGC starts oil & gas production in Bengal
Kolkata: West Bengal gets included in ONGC's oil and gas map with its eighth field at Ashoknagar in the state starting commercial production on Sunday. ONGC first extracted 20 kilolitres of crude oil from the Ashoknagar oilfields early November this year and had sent it to Indian Oil's Haldia refinery for processing.
The oil and gas producing field at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas would reduce the country's oil import dependence, said Union minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday while inaugurating the ONGC project. This is the country's eighth hydrocarbon producing basin.
The quality of crude oil produced at this reserve — located 50 km from Kolkata — is of a superior grade, of API 41-42.
Pradhan said: "ONGC so far has invested Rs 3,361 crore for exploration of hydrocarbon in the Bengal basin to find oil and gas reserves. Another Rs 425 crore would be spent on exploration in the Bengal basin spread over 1.22 lakh km, two-third of which falls under the Bay of Bengal waters."
ONGC will dig 13 wells in the coming three years in the newly awarded acreages under the open acreage licensing policy.
The minister also added that the Indian government was 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. He claimed that the project would bring a new phase of prosperity, catalysing local employment.
ONGC is India's largest oil and gas producer contributing 72 per cent of the country's hydrocarbon production.