Monday, September 10, 2007

Cairn India to start drilling in Bihar next year

Cairn India Limited is will begin drilling in Bihar's Gangetic basin for oil and natural gas by early next year as it has already completed seismic surveys and is currently studying the data collected.

'Cairn India plans to start drilling work in Bihar by early next year as we have completed the seismic survey last month,' Sunil Bharti, a Cairn India official, said here Wednesday.

Bharti said that the company had completed comprehensive seismic surveys in Samastipur, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts, and the next phase would be the drilling work.

'We hope that drilling work will start by early next year. If there is any delay then we have to start drilling after the monsoon,' he said.

The drilling work would not be possible during the monsoon thanks to floods, an annual feature in north Bihar, which is the centre of Gangetic basin for oil and natural gas exploration activities.

Bharti said that the data collected in the survey were being processed to understand the geological structures below the surface.

'It is a long process. It will take at least five to six months before we can go for the drilling work,' he said.

The exploration work by Cairn India was formally started in January this year with the launch of the aero magnetic survey. The exploration in the Gangetic basin was spread over 15,500 sq km in 13 districts.

According to independent estimates, reserves in the Ganges basin, known locally as the Purina basin, could be as high as 465 million tonnes of crude and natural gas.

Experts said the reserves could be tapped after drilling up to 4,400 metres. The government will get 10 percent royalty for every tonne extracted.

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