Exploration for hydrocarbon deposits begin in Mizoram

Aizawl, Feb 3 (PTI) Drilling for oil and gasexploration began near Meidum village in Kolasib district inthe north western part of Mizoram from Tuesday, officialsources said.

H Lallenmawia, joint director of the state geology andmineral resources department said, "This time we are extremelyoptimistic of finding hydrocarbon deposits as the drilling isundertaken after proper investigation with state-of-the-arttechnology and equipments."

Lallenmawia said that the ONGC, after seven years ofinvestigation, commenced the exploration venture at a placeabout two kilometres from Meidum village on February one, inthe presence of Joe Solu, ONGC''s basin manager (NE India).

Geologists said that Mizoram is virtually floating onoil and gas deposits and oil exploration majors like the ONGC,IOC, OIL and companies from Israel, the US, Russia and Francehave been selected to undertake the exploration works atdifferent places in the state.

The investigation for oil exploration was taken up inan area of 12,430 square kilometres comprising 58.9 per centof the total geographical area of Mizoram.

In accordance with the agreements signed with theexploration giants, 12 per cent of oil produced and 10 percent of gas produced would go to the state of Mizoram asroyalty and as recommended by the 11th Finance Commission, thenet profit would also be shared by the state and the centralgovernments on 50-50 basis, Lallianmawia said.

Mizoram falls under the category number one or''proven commercial productivity zone'' and according to roughestimates, there could be around 170 million metric tonne ofuntapped crude reserves.

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