OIL officials meets Arunachal CM for forest, environment clearance

Itanagar, Sep 23: The Oil India Limited (OIL) on Monday called on Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu and requested him to get forest and environment clearance on seven oil blocks in this mountainous state.

The OIL officials led by its Resident Chief Executive, Indrajit Baruah informed Khandu that OIL has 7 blocks of interest in Arunachal Pradesh mostly in the eastern parts, which also share boundaries with Assam.

The other OIL officials who were present in the meeting include Chief General Manager (FB), Arijit Sharma, DCE (PO), S Basumatary, GM (FB), R Kalita, DGM, Planning, M Potom, DGM (FE), U Gogoi, Sr Manager (PA) and K Buragohain, Geologist.

During the meeting, the OIL officials explained in detail activities of the petroleum company in Arunachal Pradesh, its plans and proposals and issues wherein the state government’s cooperation was required.

“As parts of few of these blocks fall in reserve forest or wildlife sanctuaries, exploration in these parts are yet to start for want of requisite clearances,” the official said.

While OIL’s Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) for the Namchik and Jairampur Extension blocks are still valid, PEL for the Demoali block is under process with the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

The officials requested early issuance of Forest Clearances for the identified blocks so that Environment Clearance can be obtained from the Central Ministry to begin survey and exploration.

“with availability of fossil fuel in the region the Company is ready to enhance its production, which will subsequently increase the revenue generating capacity of the state government,” OIL officials said.

OIL has paid about Rs 5 crores to the Arunachal Pradesh government as royalty last financial year.

With the increase in production levels, they said, this would shoot up in coming years.

Giving the status on the proposed cross-country pipeline project that would start from Kumchai (Kharsang) in Arunachal Pradesh to OILs Duliajan FGS in Assam, the officials said that a detail project report including soil survey and cadastral land survey will be submitted to the state government by 2nd week of October next.

The proposed cross country pipeline would cover a distance of 60 kms of which 18.85 kms will be within Arunachal territory.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu promised the OIL officials of all cooperation and support in their endeavors in Arunachal Pradesh.

He said his office is always open to any coordination and support required by OIL while directing the concerned department to fast-track the issuance of forest clearances wherever needed.

Khandu pointed that the state government is giving top priority in investment, employment and revenue generation in which companies like OIL can become important allies.

“Geology and mining is a very important sector that has not drawn much attention of the government in the past. But today we are aware of its huge potential and we are opening up in a big way for exploration and tapping it for a better future of our people,” he said.

When informed that OIL has about 20 officials from Arunachal in its hierarchy besides several skilled and trained technicians, Khandu expressed gratitude and expressed hope that with expansion of its activities in the state, OIL will offer more and better employment opportunities to youths of the state.