Thar desert emerging as the next energy hub
The Thar Desert of Rajasthan in its underbelly contains millions of tonnes of oil and natural gas and in a few years from now, the
desert region is expected to witness a boom with a lot of economic activities taking place. Thar desert in western Rajasthan is
emerging as the next energy hub of country. The region has rich deposits of oil, gas, lignite coal, coal bed methane and to top it all,
Solar Energy in Rajasthan and
Wind Energy. Many companies are in queue for
establishing their energy projects in the region and after lignite-based power projects and wind energy, a number of solar
power units would dot the desert landscape.
the successful growth of the Indian economy is largely
dependent on a stable supply of hydrocarbons and the state has taken
a lead in this direction. The journey towards change started when Cairn Energy PLC discovered the Mangala oilfield in
Rajasthan [राजस्थान] in January 2004. It was the biggest oil find in India since 1985.
Cairn India can produce up to 300000 barrels per day
Cairn India on July 21, 2012 said it can raise crude oil production from its prolific Rajasthan fields by over 70 per cent to 300,000 barrels per
day or 15 million tonnes a year if government gives timely investment and other approvals.
Cairn India CEO Rahul Dhir wrote to the Petroleum Ministry and the sector regulator DGH informing that it can produce 37 per cent more oil from
Thar Desert of Rajasthan fields than previously thought.
"Based on our review, we estimate that the potential resource in the (Rajasthan) block is now estimated to be 6.5 billion
barrels of oil equivalent in place. This resource base provides a basis for a vision to produce 2,40,000 barrels of oil per day,
subject to necessary approvals and additional investments," he wrote in identical letters to Petroleum
Minister Murli Deora, Oil Secretary S Sundareshan and DGH Director General S K Srivastava.
ONGC and CAIRN ENERGY
ONGC had started exploration for oil and gas in western
Rajasthan in 1954 and Oil India Limited in 1983. Cairn Energy of UK had in January 2004, announced the discovery of 450 to 1,100 million
barrels of good quality light crude oil at the well, N-B-1, in block RJ-ON-90/1 in northern Rajasthan. Earlier this year, ONGC had
acquired Cairn Energy's stake in two fields in the Gulf of Cambay in a swap deal. The Cairn Energy has till date has
made 18 discoveries - Guda, Raageshwari gas, Raageshwari oil, Kameshwari oil, Saraswati oil, GS-V-1, N-R-4, Vandana, Vijaya,
N-E-1, Aishwariya, Mangala, Bhagyam South-I, NC West Oil and gas, N-I, Shakti and Bhagyam.
Cairn Energy has made its 18th oil discovery in Rajasthan, where it claims to have found 3.5 billion barrels of oil
reserves. "Today (25th April 2006) we can announce a further discovery in Rajasthan which is the 18th on the block. The N-P
exploratory well in Barmer has encountered 16 metres of oil bearing Fatehgarh sands," Mr Norman Murray, Chairman of the
company said. Cairn estimated that three main northern fields - Mangala, Bhagyam and Aishwariya - had risen to 800 million barrels
of oil. "We now believe that there is in excess of 3.5 billion barrels of oil in place within our acreage and the resource base
continues to grow," he said.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of
India, highlights of the discovery as following:
-- Discovered by Cairn Energy, UK. Other consortium partner ONGC.
-- Country's largest inland oil discovery in last two decades due to sustained exploration effort of seven years.
-- Block covers an area of approximately 5,000 sq km.
-- State-of-the-art technology with innovative geological modeling
used in exploration.
-- Initial estimates for the oil in place of this discovery range
from 63 mm tons to 153 mm tons. Preliminary reserve estimates are in the range of 7 mm tons to 28 mm tons.
-- Two important discoveries last year viz Saraswati and Rageshwari, with a total of 35 mm tons of in-place reserves.
-- Great potential to transform rural economy of Barmer district.
"Cairn is very positive about the Barmer region and we
are preparing to start production and to achieve the target of 1,75,000 bopd from the area," he added. The project will create
over Rs 5,500 crore of earning through annual royalty to the Rajasthan government (Rs 15 crore per day). In addition, the state
government would also be paid royalty for the usage of the pipeline amounting to Rs 4 crore per day. It will also create considerable
earning for the Union government that has 50% profit share in the project.