New Delhi: State-owned ONGC has received green nod for its Rs 350-crore project of drilling 22 exploratory wells in NELP-9 blocks located at Banaskantha, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad districts of Gujarat.
According to the proposal, wells would be drilled in blocks CB-CNN-2010/1, 6 and 9, which were awarded to ONGC way back in March 2012 through the NELP-9 bidding process.
The petroleum exploratory licence to start the activities as per the production sharing contract (PSC) was granted in February 2013.
The initial contract period is seven years.
"Based on the views of the expert appraisal committee (EAC), the Union environment ministry has given environmental clearance to the ONGC drilling project in Gujarat subject to strict compliance of specific and general conditions," a senior government official said.
The clearance has been granted only for exploratory drilling of 22 wells.
In case development drilling is to be done in future, the company should take prior clearance from the ministry, the official said.
The total cost of the project is Rs 350 crore.
Each well will be drilled up to a depth of 3,000 metres.
Among conditions specified, the company has been asked to prepare an oil spillage prevention scheme and comply with the guidelines of disposal of solid waste, drill cutting and drilling fluids for onshore drilling operations.
The company has been asked to take necessary measures to prevent fire hazards, containing oil spill and soil remediation as needed.
On completion of drilling, the company has been asked to plug the drilled wells safely and obtain a certificate of environment safety from the authority concerned.
ONGC is engaged in hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in about 26 sedimentary basins of India, owns and operates more than 11,000 kilometres of pipelines in India and contributes 80 percent of the country's crude oil production.