Bihar government has begun the process to give Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) to assess the presence of oil reserves in Samastipur and Buxar districts in the state, a top official said on Monday.
The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited has applied for the grant of PELs for Buxar and Samastipur for oil exploration and production under the Open Field Licensing Policy (OALP), additional chief secretary-cum-mines commissioner of Bihar, Harjot Kaur Bamhrah told PTI.
"The exploration process to assess the presence of oil reserves in Samastipur (308.32 sq km) and Buxar (52.13 sq km) in the Ganga basin will start very soon,” she said. The mines and geology department of the state government has already briefed the administrative heads of both districts in this regard, she added. The ONGC has paid application fees with copies of map and schedule of the area for the grant of PELs for both blocks.
“A PEL for the area may be granted under the provisions of rule 5(1) of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 1959”, it said in its request letter to the mines and geology department. The intended period of the PEL is four years. A senior official of the department said the first phase will start with a 2D seismic survey using latest seismic data recording system and then a geochemical survey using advanced technology.
The surveys will be supplemented with gravity magnetic and Magneto-Telluric (MT) surveys in the coming days. MT is a popular geophysical method which uses natural time variation of the earth’s magnetic and electric fields to understand the geological (underground) structure and processes. It is widely used to image the electrical resistivity distribution inside the Earth in various application fields ranging in scale from the shallow crust to the lithosphere.
The data generated by the surveys will be studied or interpreted on high-tech work stations with sophisticated software to pin point the prospective area in the block, the official said. The exploration for oil reserves was carried out earlier too in certain parts of Bihar but no commercial discovery was made. It, however, helped in collecting valuable geological information for further exploration, the official added.