ONGC’s hydrocarbon proposal returned
In a first, the Union Environment Ministry has returned the new hydrocarbon project proposed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited in the Cauvery delta region, which the State government has notified as Protected Special Agriculture Zone . ONGC had proposed to drill 20 onshore hydrocarbon wells for production of oil and gas in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Karaikal. The proposal was submitted to the Ministry in September last year seeking Terms of Reference to conduct Environment Impact Assessment .
The fragile Cauvery basin had been witnessing a spurt in exploration and production activities in recent past with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas steering a plethora of reforms. Last year alone, proposals for drilling 489 hydrocarbon wells in Tamil Nadu were made to the Environment Ministry, of which ONGC accounts for 215 wells, and Cairn Oil and Gas for 274 wells.