GoAP, OIL sign agreement for Ningru block

ITANAGAR, Nov 5: The state government on Monday signed a petroleum mining lease (PML) deed agreement with Oil India Limited (OIL) for Ningru block in Namsai and Changlang districts.
Geology & Mining Secretary Bidol Tayeng signed the agreement on behalf of the state government, and OIL’s Duliajan (Assam) Resident Chief Executive BP Sharma signed on behalf of OIL.
The agreement was signed after the last 20 years’ petroleum exploration licence (PEL), signed in 1983, expired in 2003. The PEL has been re-granted now, after a gap of 15 years.
A release from the geology & mining secretary said the long process of re-grant was due to complications in obtaining forest clearance as the block, measuring an area of 427.058 sq kms, falls in the two districts of Namsai and Changlang.
OIL has been exploring crude oil in Arunachal Pradesh since 1963. With the indication of potential deposits, OIL applied for PML for an area of 551.669 sq kms in 1983.
The central government had granted the Ningru PML to OIL for a period of 20 years, effective from 27 November, 1983. OIL has drilled 14 oil wells within Kumchai area of Ningru lease. However, only one well was producing crude oil, and the rest were shut down due to stoppage of oil production.
In 1995, as per the central government policy, OIL had surrendered 11 sq kms out of 551.668 sq kms of Ningru PML to a JVC comprising OIL, Geopetrol International, Jubilant Energy and GeoEnpro Petroleum Ltd, and the remaining area, measuring 540.668 sq kms after relinquishment, was retained by OIL.
This lease expired in November 2003, and OIL again applied for re-grant of lease for Ningru block as per the Petroleum & Natural Gas Rules, 1959, as amended from time to time, but it could not be re-granted in 2003 due to pending forest clearance.
As per the prevailing norms of the FC Act, 1980, the net present value (NPV) is to be paid for the entire PML area (540.668 sq kms) towards re-grant of the lease.
Keeping in view that a huge amount of NPV is to be paid (to the tune of a few thousand crores of rupees) for the entire PML area (540.668 sq kms), OIL kept its operation on hold and filed an interlocutory application (IA) on 26, April, 2013, before the Supreme Court, seeking reconsideration on payment of NPV under the FC Act, 1980.
Against the aforesaid IA, the Supreme Court directed OIL to pay two percent of the total calculated NPV of Rs 3,700 crores for the entire 615.668 sq kms PML area of Ningru (540.668 sq kms) and Ningru Extension (75 sq kms) in Arunachal Pradesh, which comes out to be of Rs 74 crores.
OIL has paid the NPV amounting to Rs 74 crores to the compensatory afforestation fund (CAF) of Arunachal Pradesh.
Further, the union ministry of environment, forests & climate change (MoEF&CC) and the state forest department have re-verified the original block of Ningru PML (540.668 sq kms) and found the presence of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve area within the proposed PML area. Later, an area of 113.61 sq kms of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve area was excluded from the proposed PML area, reducing the Ningru PML to 427.058 sq kms.
On 26 July, 2017, MoEF&CC accorded forest clearances and assigned the lease to OIL. The state government, after observing all the codal formalities, re-granted the Ningru PML on 4 May, 2018, to OIL, which is a central government enterprise.
With the receipt of the PML, OIL started work over operations in the old wells. The current production is 130 BOPD, and gas is 0.035 MMSCMD.
Meanwhile, Pema assured the OIL officials of the state government’s cooperation and assistance in all economically viable projects, and requested them to keep the interests of the local citizens on top priority.
He urged them to recruit more eligible local youths in present as well as future projects of the company.
Present at the deed signing were, among others, Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and DGP SBK Singh. (With CMO inputs)