New Delhi : Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India today organized an event in Guwahati to showcase Upstream Oil & Gas opportunities in North East Region (NER). The plenary session of the event was chaired by Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri. Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli and Ministers from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram took part in the event. Secretary MoPNG, senior officials of the Central and State Governments, DGH and various stakeholders took part in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Puri said that NER, with its abundant natural resources, rich cultural heritage and huge opportunities for growth is central to our country’s development agenda. The North-Eastern States of India are perceived to be highly prospective based on available geo-scientific information and hence ample opportunities for potential oil and gas finds through accelerated exploration exists in the region.
Puri said that the NER is of strategic importance for India. In line with its intent of rapidly transforming the region, the Government of India has undertaken many key initiatives to augment Infrastructure and pace economic development. He mentioned about following key Oil and Gas initiatives in the NER:
- Oil and Gas Projects worth 1 lakh Crore are approved and are expected to be completed by 2025 [Major Projects: Upstream (27,000 Crore), NRL (30,000 Crore), IGGL (10,000 Crore), CGD & Others (33,000 Crore)]
- Special Bidding Round under OALP for NER with acreages being carved out by Government and offered with Additional Incentives for attracting Investments
- Doubling the exploration acreage in NER from existing 30,000 Sq. Kms to 60,000 Sq. Kms by 2025 (Approx. 20,000 Sq. Kms of area already awarded under OALP over last 3 years in NER)
- Plans to Double the Oil and Gas production from current 9 MMTOE to 18 MMTOE by 2025
- Plans to set up a dedicated service provider hub in NER to support the requirement of Oil and Gas Industry in collaboration with State Governments
- Implementation of North East Gas Grid (NEGG) to provide access of natural gas to end-user in north-eastern region
- Six Geographical Area (GAs) comprising of 18 Districts in the State of Assam and Tripura are on offer under the 11th Round of CGD Bid Round for developing the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network.Puri announced that Digboi refinery in Assam will be expanded. He also assured that the issue of blending ethanol with petrol at the refinery level will also be explored.
Puri said that the outlook of E&P business in North East Region is indeed promising. There is a huge hydrocarbon potential waiting to be tapped; of the estimated 7600 MMTOE in the North-East, only 2000 MMTOE has been discovered so far. With concerted efforts by industry and governments, oil production is expected to increase by 67% from 4.11 MMT in 2020-21 to 6.85 MMT in next 4 years. Gas production is forecasted to more than double from 5.05 BCM in 2020-21 to 10.87 BCM in next 4 years.
Calling upon the investors to actively participate in upcoming rounds and become part of the national E&P enterprise which is set to gather momentum in the days ahead, Union Minister said that much impetus has been given to north-east region in recent past, which will act as catalyst for the envisaged future growth in the region.Puri appreciated the launch of the portal by Government of Assam today for facilitation of statutory clearances and approvals for E&P operators and hoped that other State Governments will also launch similar initiatives. In this context, he announced that there will be periodic meeting through VC with NE states to sort out the issues.
Speaking on the occasion, Assam Chief Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma extended full support of the State Government in the exploration activities. He assured that the State Government is taking steps for providing early environmental clearances for the Oil and Gas projects. He said that the contribution of Assam in the Oil and Gas sector is well-known and he wants the exploration activities to increase fast.