State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has made oil and gas discoveries in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal that may potentially open up two new sedimentary basins in country. They are category-III basins, having hydrocarbon and are considered geologically prospective for exploration.
Madhya Pradesh: The gas deposits were discovered in block in Vindhyan basin. This find is at 3,000-plus meters deep and is being now tested. Four wells drilled after discovery and now hydro-frack will be undertaken to test commerciality of this field.
West Bengal: Oil and gas was discovered in well in Ashok Nagar of 24 Parganas district. Around one lakh cubic meters per day of gas has flowed from one object that was tested.
India has 26 sedimentary basins, of which only seven category-I basins have commercial production of oil and gas. Except for Assam shelf, ONGC opened up all the other six basins, including Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, and Assam-Arakan Fold Belt for commercial production. The seventh basin was opened way back in 1985. It is in the process of adding eighth basin by putting Kutch offshore discovery (it holds about one trillion cubic feet of gas reserves) to production.
26 sedimentary basins (category wise)
Category-I basins: Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, Assam Shelf and Assam-Arakan Fold Belt. They have been established for commercial production.
Category-II basins: Kutch, Mahanadi-NEC (North East Coast), Andaman-Nicobar, Kerala-Konkan-Lakshadweep. They are known for accumulation of hydrocarbons but no commercial production has been achieved so far.
Category-III basins: Himalayan Foreland Basin, Ganga Basin, Vindhyan basin, Saurashtra Basin, Kerela Konkan Basin, Bengal Basin. They having hydrocarbon and are considered geologically prospective.
Category-IV basins: Karewa, Spiti-Zanskar, Satpura–South Rewa–Damodar, Chhattisgarh, Narmada, Deccan Syneclise, Bhima-Kaladgi, Bastar, Pranhita Godavari and Cuddapah. They have uncertain potential which may be prospective by analogy with similar basins in the world.