OIL has requested the Petroleum Ministry to extend the deadline for Phase-I activities in Krishna-Godavari onland block KG-ONN-2004/1 due to a delay in getting clearance from the governments of the two states in which the block falls, a senior company official said.
"We have requested the ministry to extend the current exploration period (Phase-I) suitably after taking into account the actual date of the necessary permissions and licenses are granted for carrying out exploration work in the NELP–VI block," the official, who did not wish to be named, told PTI in Mumbai.
The company is yet to receive forest clearance from the Government of Andhra Pradesh and a Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) from the Government of Puducherry, which has hampered the schedule for exploratory work in the block, he said.
"The delay in getting a forest license from the Andhra Pradesh government and a Petroleum Exploration License from the Puducherry government delayed our overall exploratory work in the block, as acquisition, processing and interpretation of 3D seismic is linked to drilling of wells, which involves works such as site preparation and procurement of materials and services," he said.
"The delay in getting forest clearance from the Andhra government has already delayed the project by two years and 111 days from the effective Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) date," he said.
OIL had applied to the concerned forest authorities on August 29, 2007, for issuing a No Objection Certificate for carrying out oil and gas exploration in forest areas encompassed by the block in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
However, this has not been granted as yet. Furthermore, in the absence of a valid PEL for the portion of the block which falls under the jurisdiction of the government of Puducherry, OIL has been unable to fulfill its committed work programme in the acreage.
OIL's proposed work programme in the first phase of exploration of KG-ONN-2004/1 involves 3D seismic data acquisition in the southeastern part of block to generate possible prospects. However, due to the lack of forest permission, this was impossible, even though a 3D seismic crew was mobilised to cover these areas in March this year, he said.