OIL Current Affairs - 2019
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Scientists from Ocean University in Qingdao, China and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England have discovered a bacteria that eats oil.
- The oil eating bacteria was discovered in the western Pacific Ocean’s 10,994-meter-deep Mariana Trench.
- The team from collected samples from the trench. In the samples, they found microorganisms that eat compounds similar to those in oil.
The expedition was organised by marine explorer and film director James Cameron.
Significance of the Discovery
Hydrocarbons are organic compounds that are made of only hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are found in many places, including crude oil and natural gas. These types of microorganisms which essentially eat compounds similar to those in oil and then use it for fuel can play a significant role in degrading oil spills in natural disasters such as BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Union Government has constituted six-member committee to look at selling as many as 149 small and marginal oil and gas fields of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) to private and foreign companies to boost domestic output.
The committee will be headed by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and includes Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Oil Secretary M M Kutty, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Shashi Shanker as members.
Constitution of this committee is follow up of October 2018meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review domestic production profile of oil and gas and the roadmap for cutting import dependence by 10% by 2022. In this meeting, Union Oil Ministry had made presentation showing that 149 smaller fields of ONGC, OIL and other explorers accounted for just 5% of domestic crude oil production. It was suggested at the meeting that these smaller fields could be given out to private and foreign firms, so that ONGC could concentrate on big ones where it could rope in technology partners through production enhancement contracts (PEC) or technical service arrangements. This was mainly large ONGC fields as contribute to 95% of its production and leave out the rest for private firms.