Guwahati, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
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OIL arrests slide in crude production
R Dutta Choudhury

OIL CMD Utpal Bora
 GUWAHATI, May 15 - After a decline in crude oil production for around three consecutive years, the Oil India Limited (OIL) has managed to arrest the slide in the last financial year and in fact, increased the production by one per cent. On the other hand, the natural gas production by the OIL recorded all time high in the last financial year.Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the Oil, Utpal Bora revealed that in the year 2016-17, the OIL managed to produce 3.28 million metric tonnes (MMT) of crude, which was one per cent higher than the previous year’s production. He admitted that concerted efforts were made by all the officers and employees of the company to increase production, which not only arrested the downward slide of production but also resulted in increase of production. In addition to the efforts of all the officers and staff, adoption of new technologies also helped the company to increase production. However, Bora said that it would take around a year or two to get the complete benefit of the use of new technology. He said that the gas production in the year was 2.93 billion cubic metres, which is a record in the history of the OIL.

The government has fixed the target of production of 3.60 MMT for the current financial year as a part of the Prime Minister’s mandate of decreasing the crude imports. Bora admitted that it would be a stiff target considering the present scenario. But at the same time, he asserted that the OIL would make allout efforts to increase production in the years to come.

The OIL CMD admitted that local disturbances also affected production to a large extent in the last few years. But the situation has improved due to active cooperation of the State Government and administration of the concerned districts. He said that the OIL is also ready to talk with any organisations about their problems and hoped that all sections of people of the State would understand the importance of increasing oil production and would not disturb the activities of the OIL.

Bora revealed that in last January, there were some disturbance over appointments, which affected production for a few days. He said that the OIL will be appointing 395 persons in Grade III and “we apprehend some trouble when the results of the examinations are declared. But the people must understand the fact that the appointments are given only on merit. As per the new guidelines of the Prime Minister, the candidates will be selected only on the basis of written tests and the tests were conducted by a third party, that is, Dibrugarh University. So no one should question the selection process and create unnecessary trouble,” he added.

A strike by the oil tanker operators also created problems a few days back and to prevent occurrence of such incidents in future, the OIL is planning to modify the tender terms in future.

Bora revealed that frequent bandhs also affected production in the past few years. However, fortunately, the situation has improved now but there are still instances of some organisations demanding hefty sums as ‘donations’, particularly from the outsourcing companies engaged by the OIL for drilling. He expressed the view that such incidents must be stopped for better performance by the OIL.

The OIL CMD said that continuous efforts must be made to go for new exploration and in the current financial year, an amount of Rs 960 crore has been earmarked for exploration. He said that the OIL is planning a survey of the Brahmaputra river bed and has sought permission from the Director General of Hydrocarbons. He said that to go for drilling, permission of the Ministry of Environment and Forest would be required. The OIL is also planning to seek licence for exploration in other parts of the Northeast and other parts of the country in near future under the provisions of the new licensing policy to be rolled out in July.

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