CHENNAI: In a significant development, State-owned oil major ONGC has proposed to drill a whopping 104 new hydrocarbon development wells in the Cauvery delta region. There are widespread concerns among public in the region about the potential impacts of hydrocarbon operations on crops and livelihood of farmers.
ONGC has submitted an application to the Environment Ministry seeking Terms of Reference for obtaining environment clearance for the production wells. There are 16 oil and gas fields in 11 blocks of Cauvery delta region, within which these 104 wells will come up.
Data accessed by Express reveal that all wells will come up onshore, and each will require 1.65 hectares of land. The land will be obtained on lease, temporarily, on the testing phase. However, the proposal is for development wells, not exploratory wells. “So, if hydrocarbons are found in desired depths, ONGC would commence production,” said sources.
Wells are to come up in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Ariyalur, Cuddalore and Ramnathapuram districts. Total cost of the project is a massive Rs 1,560 crore. “Drilling will be conducted using ONGC-owned electrical rigs, which have capacity to drill up to 4,000 metres depth,” said Rajeeva Kumar, DGM at ONGC.