Nandurbar may be the poorest region in Maharashtra, but the tribal dominated district may be in for a windfall with oil exploratory companies scouring the district for possible oil and gas reserves.
One such company, the Canada based Geoglobal Resources, has already been awarded a petro exploration license in the district by the Indian Government.
"We have been awarded an exploratory block covering an area of 3155 sq km by the government under the fifth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-V)," base manager for the block Rashmi Chandra told HT.
The onshore block referred to as the DS-ONN-2003/01 encompasses areas of Nandurbar and Dhule. The company will be carrying out exploration in this area, referred to as the Deccan Syneclise Basin, for crude oil and natural gas reserves.
Even though oil exploration is an expensive and high risk operation, the benefits of a probable find would give a huge fillip to the development of this tribal dominated district. A find could turn the district into a major energy destination.
The district due to its topography is already a lucrative destination for wind farming with an energy output of around 1000 MW.
"A find in this exploratory block would be beneficial for the economic growth of this district," Nandurbar's collector Jayant Gaikwad said.
As part of its exploration effort the company will carry out a gravity magnetic and geochemical survey of the district. The company will drill an exploratory well.
Generally areas thought to contain hydrocarbons are initially subjected to a gravity survey or magnetic survey to detect large scale features of the sub-surface geology. Areas which attract the geologists interest are then subjected to more detailed seismic surveys.
Finally, when a prospect has been identified and evaluated and passes the oil company's selection criteria, an exploration well is drilled to conclusively determine the presence or absence of oil or gas.