ITANAGAR, Sept 23 - Oil India Ltd (OIL) officials on Monday called on Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and requested him to enable forest and environment clearances for seven oil blocks in the state.
The OIL officials led by Resident Chief Executive Indrajit Baruah informed Khandu that OIL has seven blocks of interest in Arunachal Pradesh, mostly in the eastern parts, which also share boundaries with Assam. The other OIL officials present in the meeting included Chief General Manager Arijit Sharma, S Basumatary, R Kalita, M Potom, U Gogoi and K Buragohain.
The OIL officials explained the activities of the company in Arunachal Pradesh, its plans and proposals and issues wherein the state government’s cooperation was required. “As parts of few of these blocks fall in reserve forest or wildlife sanctuaries, exploration is yet to start for want of requisite clearances,” an official said.
While OIL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) for Namchik and Jairampur Extension blocks are still valid, the PEL for Demoali block is under process with the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
The officials requested early issuance of forest clearances for the identified blocks so that environment clearance can be obtained from the Ministry to begin survey and exploration. “With availability of fossil fuels in the region, the company is ready to enhance its production, which will subsequently increase the revenue generating capacity of the state government,” another OIL official said.
OIL paid about Rs 5 crore to Arunachal Pradesh as royalty last financial year. The officials said that with the increase in production levels, the royalty would shoot up in coming years. Giving the status on the proposed cross-country pipeline project that would start from Kumchai (Kharsang) in Arunachal Pradesh to OIL’s Duliajan facility in Assam, the officials said a detailed project report, including soil survey and cadastral land survey, will be submitted to the state government by the second week of October. The pipeline would cover a distance of 60 km, of which 18.85 km will be in Arunachal Pradesh.
Khandu promised the OIL officials cooperation and support in their endeavours in Arunachal Pradesh.
When informed that OIL has about 20 officials from Arunachal Pradesh in its hierarchy, besides several technicians, Khandu hoped that with expansion of its activities, OIL will offer more employment opportunities to the youth. – IANS