R Dutta Choudhury GUWAHATI, Oct 18 - The Oil India Limited (OIL) has initiated major efforts to increase crude production and already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Houston, Texas for technical support in this regard. On the other hand, the Oil is also initiating a series of measures for the benefit of the students and entrepreneurs, and a start-up scheme.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the OIL, Utpal Bora admitted that fall in production of crude oil in the last few years is a matter of concern and all-out efforts have been on to arrest the slide and to increase production. He revealed that crude production by the OIL came down from 3.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2010-11 to 3.2 MMT in the last financial year, which is an area of concern.
However, at the same time, Bora pointed out that most of the oilfields in operation in the State are old ones and there is need to go for secondary process. Moreover, no major new oilfield has been discovered in India in the last decade.
On the steps initiated by the OIL to increase production to meet the target of 3.48 MMT in the current financial year, Bora said that a team of young technical experts has been formed to work with the experts of the University of Houston to bring in new technology for quick oil gain in the existing fields.
He said that of the two old fields in Rajasthan, one is likely to start production within the next six months, while the second one would take about a couple of years to start production due to the requirement of new technical inputs. He said that the OIL has also acquired shares in two producing oilfields in Russia, while the company in collaboration with the ONGC has gone into offshore exploration.
The OIL CMD admitted that their proposed Brahmaputra river bed survey had to be stopped due to strong opposition from different organisations of the State, but the company would again seek fresh permission from the Government of India under the new hydrocarbon policy for the survey.
Giving an account of the major initiatives of the OIL for helping Assam in dealing with the problem of unemployment, Bora revealed that the creation of the Rs 50-crore start-up fund was one such endeavour. He said under the project, students and young entrepreneurs would be encouraged to come up with new and innovative ideas for development of the oil and gas sector in the State. He said that the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati would be the nodal point for the project and an MoU would be signed with the institute shortly.
The OIL is also planning to set up a skill development centre near Guwahati and an MoU would be signed with the Government of Assam soon. He said the details of the skill development centre would be worked out immediately after the signing of the MoU. Meanwhile, the company has initiated steps to start a driving training institute in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki at a cost of around Rs 20 crore. All these projects are being implemented in line with the NE Vision 2030 of the Government of India.
The OIL is also having talks with multinational service providers so that such companies can set up warehouses and small manufacturing units in the State to cater to the requirements of the oil companies.