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The ONGC says they have struck a “big new structure bearing natural gas” in Tripura.

The find happened within two months after OP Singh took over as the new Tripura asset manager of the ONGC.

The discovery was reported in the 301 sq kms Sundalbari-Agartala Dome Petroleum Mining Lease (PML) zone.

ONGC sources said that the SD-12 exploration well, drilled to 2536 metres, flowed 140,000 cm/d over two days from Middle Bhuban sands.

The well is near Purba Nalchar village in between Sepaijhala and Gomati districts near the border with Bangladesh.

ONGC officials described the discovery as “substantial” and said other prospective wells in this zone will soon be tested.

“We expect similar results, this zone seems to be floating on gas,” an ONGC official said.

“This is a sustainable discovery,” reports an ONGC source in Agartala.

“Other interesting zones in this well will now be tested. Only this well was tested but soon we’ll test other wells where we expect similar results.”

SD-12 sits on the periphery of the Sundalbari-Agartala Dome block north of the Gomati river that travels east to west.

“This is the first Middle Bhuban sand that has been established in the Sundalbari field,” said ONGC officials, adding that they would now seek greater depths in exploration targets.

ONGC Tripura asset manager O P Singh has meanwhile asked the state government to facilitate construction of better roads to carry rigs to exploration zones.

ONGC discovery well SD-12 will help reach a target set by the Centre to produce a minimum 5.1m cm/d from Tripura, which is rich in gas but yet to strike any oil deposits.

There are plans to drill 50 exploration wells in 9 PMLs in West Tripura, Khowai, Sepahijila, and Gomati and South Tripura districts involving an overall drilling cost of Rs 2500 crores.

Though Tripura is rich in gas reserves, production has languished at 3.94m cm/d in 2017-18 and then risen marginally to 4.7m cm/d in the next fiscal.

Exploration has suffered due to delay in environment clearances for blocks located in and around the Trishna wildlife reserve in Gomati district, which is home to a large number of Gaurs (Indian bison).


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