OIL Current Affairs - 2020

Exploration underneath Assam National Park receives Environmental Clearance

On May 20, 2020, the major exploration by the Oil India Limited beneath the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park of Assam received environmental clearance. There were concerns that the project would affect the flora and fauna in the region. The park is the only region in India that supports feral horses.

Highlights

The Oil India Limited (OIL) has received environmental clearance from MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) to extend drilling and testing of hydrocarbons.

The OIL is to implement extended reach drilling technology for which the company had obtained permission in 2016.

The company will down carry out hydrocarbon exploration 1.5 km outside the demarcated area of the park. The company has been performing explorations in the region for more than 15 years.

Feral Horse

The Feral horse is not a true wild horse. The only true wild horse that exists today is the Przewalski’s horse, that are native to Central Asia. The Prezewalski horse was first classified as extinct by the IUCN red list. Later, they were reclassified as critically endangered in 2008 and endangered in 2011.

Australia has the largest population of feral horses in the world.

Extended Reach Drilling

The Extended Reach Drilling Technology is directional drilling beneath the earth. The technology aims to reach larger area and longer distances. It is done to maximize productivity and drainage capability.

Cabinet approves North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid

On January 8, 2020, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the North East Gas Pipeline Grid. The pipeline is to be constructed for around 1,656 km.

Highlights

The gas pipeline grid is to be developed in eight states of the North East Region namely Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura. The project is a joint venture of 5 Public sector units namely ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited), IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited), OIL (Oil India Limited), GAIL (Gas Authority of India Limited) and NRL (Numaligarh Refinery Limited). The Joint Venture has been named IGGL (Indra Dhanush Gas Grid Limited).

The Government of India has approved Rs 5,559 crores funding for the construction of the grid. The grid will connect major cities of the North East namely Guwahati, Itanagar, Kohima, Dimapur, Aizwal, Imphal, Shillong, Agartala, Silchar, Numaligarh and Gangtok.

About the Grid

The Grid will supply CNG to automobiles, cooking gas to households and fuel to industry. The Group Consortium will receive 60% of the funding for the project and the rest has to be raised via debts and equity. The project will be monitored by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The Ministry will also release capital for the project in further stages.