Look on Burma: Ministry hints to OIL
by Nava Thakuria
From Mizzima News
August 19, 2004
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The Indian ministry of petroleum and natural gas has asked the state owned Oil India Ltd (OIL) to look 'eastward', with a hint on Burma for increasing crude oil and gas production in the coming days.
"The petroleum ministry is keen to see OIL looking eastward towards hydrocarbon-rich Myanmar (Burma), which is virtually in its backyard," told a ministry source. It may be mentioned that the OIL chairman and managing director R. K. Dutta, had recently made a presentation in front of the petroleum ministry officials in New Delhi, which did not impress the officials.
They expressed that OIL did not have a proper vision for growth, as it was primarily confining its operations in NE India only. Few other companies like the Gas Authority of India Limited (Gail), OIL and the Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (NGC)-Videsh, have already ventured into Burma.
"Having over 50 years of experience in oil exploration and enjoying the Burma Shell heritage, OIL can make really a difference. But the company, despite the experience and knowledge about the resources of the neighboring country, OIL has not performed up to its mark," the ministry officials expressed.
However, OIL officials have disclosed that the company was set to record a highest ever crude oil production in the current financial year. "OIL has set the production target of 3.40 million metric tons with its expanded network of production.
Presently producing at a 3.22 MTPA rate, OIL can achieve the target with several new discoveries, as well as optimum use of resources," told Prasanta Barkakoty, Manger, PR section of the company based in NE India.
Recently upgraded to a 'Schedule A' category PSU, the company had also decided to drill two horizontal wells for the first time in the history of OIL this year, mainly for enhancing production from Hapjan and Makum fields in Assam.
"Further extensive development drilling activities are being initiated for the exploration of the newly discovered structure in North Chandmari area, after the successful competition and production from the existing well. Additional six new wells have been earmarked for drilling in these fields in the immediate future, out which two will be complete this year to enhance the potential build up," added Mr. Barkakoty.