State-run oil giant ONGC will set up a new 'basin' in Agartala by the end of next year as it looks to focus more on exploration of oil and gas in the North-East region.
"We are discussing about setting up a 'basin' in Agartala. Director of Exploration and I visited Agartala around five months ago. We checked the facilities. Currently work for creation of workstation is going on," ONGC Director (Onshore) Ved Prakash Mahawar told PTI.
Construction work is going on as earlier there was no proper building to start functioning of a 'basin' in Agartala, he added.
"A 'basin' receives huge amount of data, which are processed subsequently. It will take around a year to prepare the facility. By 2017, we will roll out the Agartala Basin," Mahawar said.
ONGC's North East operations are divided into two areas -- Assam Shelf from Jorhat to Duliajan and Assam Fold Belt from Silchar to Agartala.While exploration is being done only by Assam-Arakan 'basin' based at Jorhat, the production is divided by three 'assets' -- Assam Asset at Nazira, Jorhat Asset at Jorhat and Tripura Asset at Agartala.
Basin's job is to discover or explore oil and gas, but it does not produce anything. On the other hand, an 'asset' exploits or produces and sends products to refineries.
Explaining the rationale behind creating a new 'basin', the senior official said: "The Assam Fold Belt is a complex and a complicated one. Sometimes we get minerals and other things. We want an experienced person there who knows about it. This will bring in focus to that area. As it is a difficult area, so we want to treat it differently."
Assam Fold Belt has mainly gas, while there are both oil and gas in Assam Shelf, he added. Mahawar said the new 'basin' is being created to focus more on exploration of energy sources in the area.
When asked about the manpower in the upcoming Agartala 'basin', he said: "In a basin, mostly scientists are there. In Jorhat 'basin', 300 people are there.
So usually, around 200- 300 people are there in a 'basin'. But Agartala will house 50 -60 people only as finance, HR and few other departments in Jorhat will be shared with it." Before creating an 'asset' in Jorhat, it was only a 'basin' with a daily production of 350 tonnes.
"Now we have made an 'asset' in Jorhat to focus on the production. An Executive Director sits there. As soon as it was made an 'asset', production has gone up to 400 tons every day. This will increase to 500 tonnes per day next year," Mahawar said.
In last fiscal, ONGC production in Assam was 0.9 million tonnes and this year, it is targetted to reach the figure of one million tonnes.