oil and 5.8 lakh cubic meters (m3) of natural gas on a daily basis. The expert appraisal committee (EAC) found the final EIA/EMP (environment impact assessment and environment management plan) report "adequate" and suggested stipulating specific conditions along with other environmental conditions while considering accord of clearance.
Following the EAC recommendations, the Union environment ministry will soon take a final call on the proposal.
The cost of the ONGC's drilling project is estimated at Rs 1,752 crore. The depth of drilling wells will be in the range of 800-2,000 metres. The final environmental clearance to the project would be subject to obtaining prior clearance from the wildlife point of view, including clearance from the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife as applicable. It also suggested that the ministry impose specific conditions, including monitoring of ambient air quality, putting in place a mechanism to control noise from the drilling activity, preparation of oil spillage prevention and mitigation scheme, among others.
Earlier, ONGC on February 19 announced it has approved Rs.3,104 crore additional investment for drilling of wells and creating surface facilities to produce 5.1 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metres per day) gas from gas fields in Tripura.
As a result of geological mapping and exploratory efforts, so far 11 gas fields have been discovered by ONGC in Tripura and out of the 7 fields are on production, said an ONGC statement, adding this investment is to produce and supply 5.1 MMSCMD gas to various consumers for another 15-20 years.
Currently, the ONGC Tripura is carrying out its drilling activities with three owned rigs under operation and well servicing operations through 2 work-over rigs. An additional four to five hired rigs are anticipated to be under operation this year, which will intensify the exploration activities.
It noted that the Tripura gas fields lie in logistically, environmentally challenged area, where a good number of drill site, facility and pipeline locations are likely to be in forest lands, which needs special attention for forest clearance and timely civil and site construction.
The statement also said that its board had in 2008 approved investment of Rs.1,946 crore in the northeast Indian state to taking the total approved investment in Tripura to Rs.5,050 crore.
The petroleum and natural gas ministry had recently released its Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for Northeast India, which promised to develop the northeast region of the country as a dominant hydrocarbon hub.