Oil India Limited, has commenced a survey to check for the presence of hydrocarbons in Manipur.
The project manager of the Manipur State Level Convention on Oil Exploration team, Sumit Mahajan, told ANI that they had started conducting the survey two months back, from district Jribam. The survey has reached the Khaidem Village constituency in Imphal West.
"This project, if triumphant, will be useful and bring in quite a lot of opportunities for the development of both the state and nation as a whole. Assam has reaped the benefits from the availability of slew of hydrocarbons and we are hopeful about the same for Manipur. If the results are positive, there will be surge in the employment sector paving way for Manipur's economic prosperity," said Mahajan.
The expedition survey will take about two more years and is due to get wrapped up by April 2019. Post that, the centre and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) will reflect upon next steps.
The Government of India through Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had granted license to Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited (JOGPL), a Netherlands based oil exploration company, for exploring and drilling two oil blocks in Manipur located in the Jiribam (Imphal East), Tamenglong and Churachandpur districts of Manipur, without the acknowledgement and consent of locals. The contracts were awarded under the eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) of the Government of India.
Earlier, as well, without any intimation of the locals, the government had undertaken series of promotions globally in 2003 and 2009 to promote the oil blocks of 'the jeweled land', along with others through road-shows in major cities of the world like London, Houston, Calgary and Perth etc, inviting bids to oil companies.
The production sharing contract for the Manipur Oil Block 1 (AA-ONN-2009/1) was signed on 30th June, 2010 and the Petroleum Exploration License was granted by the Manipur Government on 23rd September, 2010. The Contract for Manipur block II (AA-ONN-2009/2) was signed on 19th July 2010 and the license was granted by the Manipur Government on 20th September, 2010.
The deeds for the exploration licenses were signed on 15th November, 2010, all without the knowledge of the people of Manipur.
The total area granted for oil exploration is 3850 Square Kilometres and it is estimated that Manipur has nearly 5000 billion cubic feet of oil.
The Jubiliant Energy is envisaged to drill oil from 30 oil wells, identified by the Alpha Geo Company based in Hyderabad, which has been conducting seismic studies for Jubiliant Energy.
The latest Annual report of Jubilant Energy indicates that the two Manipur Blocks have prospective oil resources ranging from 380 billion cubic feet to 1.43 trillion cubic feet, with Jubilant Energy holding 100 percent participating interest.