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Indradhanush pipeline and exploration of gas reserve in Nagaland is ONGC’s priority for NE

Indradhanush pipeline and exploration of gas reserve in Nagaland is ONGC’s priority for NE

| @indiablooms | 19 Feb 2020, 03:52 pm

Agartala/UNI: After Tripura and Assam, Nagaland has emerged as a potential hydrocarbon reserve in India, for which exploration giant Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has shared the draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government to begin exploration work, ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Shashi Shanker told media here on Wednesday.

He said ONGC has been working in a mission mode to transform Northeast economy in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Northeast is floating on a huge hydrocarbon reserve, having potential to ensure a clean source of fuel and energy for the whole region, he added.

Nagaland has found huge hydrocarbon reserves of around 500 million metric ton in a preliminary survey. To start the exploration work, ONGC and the Government of Nagaland have been working in a positive direction and hope to finalise the process very soon, he stated. 

“The Indradhanush Gas Grid Ltd is an ambitious project which aims to connect the entire Northeast region through pipeline to evacuate gas and transmit to the rest of the country and commercial projects as well as bring gas from outside the region if required. The project will bring a massive change in the life and economy of the region and bring more investment,” Shanker pointed out. 

Under the project, Gas pipeline of 1,600 kilometre is being laid across the northeast at a cost of about Rs 10,000 Cr and is expected to be completed by 2021-22. It would be connected to nationwide gas grid network, he added.

Another 1700 kilometre pipeline is planned to be laid beyond the northeast to connect the region with the national gas network and make the region self-sufficient in gas supply.

He said Tripura has already emerged as one of the biggest gas-producing assets of ONGC in the country.

It is producing about 1.5 billion cubic metre gas annually, which is about 4.6 per cent of the country’s total gas production, currently.

After formal exploration activity in Tripura during 1982, the state has now emerged as the biggest onshore gas producer in the country estimated at 31 per cent, he mentioned.

Besides, expansion of gas grid construction under Indradhanush, ONGC has identified new potential sites for exploration through 55 wells, Shanker said, adding, “ONGC being a responsible company wanted to open up an opportunity for gas-based industries and more investment in Tripura through assured gas supply. And, after gas grid connectivity establishes a strong economy in Tripura, the northeast as a whole will be changed.”

He said ONGC has committed to supply a certain amount of gas to 726 MW ONGC Power Project at Palatana in Gomati district of Tripura, but whenever the company shuts down for mechanical fault or routine maintenance, ONGC has to incur loss.

After the gas grid comes up, the unused gas, in such situations, can be transported to other parts of the country, he pointed out.

He further said that the 101 MW capacity thermal power plant at Monarchak in Sonamura of West Tripura has proposed to augment its capacity to 500 MW and has sought gas from us, which is under active consideration.

"However, two issues have to be considered before starting the operation. Where shall we use the allocated gas if the plant goes off for a few days, and, similarly, how will the plant run if suddenly ONGC fails to manage the required gas from local sources for some reason? So, before committing gas supply, we are prioritizing gas grid construction,” Shanker added.

The ONGC CMD came here on Wednesday for one day visit with his team of top management.

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