State-owned ‘navratna’ exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has asked the government to grant R&D status to two petroleum exploration licence blocks in Madhya Pradesh for five years. The blocks identified are Damoh-Jabera-Katani and ampur-Pachmarhi-Anhoni blocks.
“This will help our concerted efforts in putting Vindhyan and Satpura basins on to the oil map of India… It will go miles in nation’s endeavour of hydrocarbon exploration in Madhya Pradesh,” ONGC has stated in a letter to the petroleum ministry.
ONGC proposes to conduct drilling and seismic data acquisition as well as robust age detection of the oil blocks. The studies with the help of low frequency seismic data and gravity-magnetic and seismic will enable it to reach a better assessment of the oil and gas prospects.
Explaining the rationale for seeking R&D status for the two blocks, ONGC has pointed out that hydrocarbon exploration in Category IV basin is a high risk-low reward venture. Grey areas in the exploration still exist in various aspect that influence hydrocarbon entrapment in the basin, it stated.
“Various exploration challenges necessitate more time for each phase of data acquisition, processing , interpretation and special studies for developing a more viable geological model utilizing state-of-the-art techniques as projected for five years. Validating and authenticiating the model warrant drilling of deep exploratory well down to basement which in turn in needs additional time,” the letter states.
ONGC has contended that as a colossal gap exists between demand and supply of energy, towering crude prices, bygone days of easy to find oil in structural traps are over. There is a pressing need to pay more critical attention to frontier areas for finding oil and gas.