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Suresh Gopi's petroleum portfolio could fuel oil exploration attempts in his hometown

Central public sector undertaking Oil India Limited has been awarded offshore exploration rights on the Kerala-Konkan offshore block.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 13:56 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 13:56 IST

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Thiruvananthpuram: Kollam, the native place of union minister of state Suresh Gopi, has more reasons to cheer over the BJP's maiden Lok Sabha MP from Kerala getting the petroleum portfolio as offshore gas and oil exploration in Kollam is expected to begin this year.

Central public sector undertaking Oil India Limited (OIL) has been awarded offshore exploration rights on the  Kerala-Konkan offshore block that lies in the shallow waters off the west coast of Kerala.

A preliminary examination by OIL in the region in 2020 had reportedly found further possibilities in exploration in the sea off the Kollam coast. OIL has reportedly entered into a tie-up with a UK based firm for deep exploration at around 25 nautical miles from the shore. It is expected to begin this year.

Gopi, who took over as the minister of state for petroleum and natural gas on Tuesday, told reporters about utilising the oil and gas exploration opportunities of his home town.


Sources at Kollam port said that the firm engaged by OIL for the explorations was in the process of arranging the logistics required for the exploration.


Meanwhile, resistance from the local fishermen community could pose a major challenge. Earlier a much hyped seaplane project of Kerala government had also faced stiff resistance from the local fishermen community of Kollam.


According to sources, the plan is to dig two exploratory wells. OIL inked a Rs 1250 crore agreement with the UK firm for the work. 


Oil and Natural Gas Corporation had earlier carried out similar exploration in the sea off Koch coast, which is also part of Kerala-Konkan basin. But it was later abandoned as the presence of oil could not be found.

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Published 11 June 2024, 13:56 IST

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