Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday dedicated the country's oil and gas field at Ashoknagar in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district to the nation. Ashoknagar is the first oil and gas reserve in the state. The chief said the oil would be extracted from a petroleum reserve about 48 km from Kolkata and sent to the Indian Oil Corporation's Haldia Refinery (IOC).
After the inauguration of the project, he said that with the commencement of production from the Ashoknagar Oil and Gas Reserve, West Bengal has also joined the list of places where oil is extracted. The first oil and gas reserves in the state were discovered in 2016.
He said ONGC, a public sector agency (PSU), had spent Rs 33,311 crore on exploration in the Ashoknagar oil field. He said the company would explore two more wells under the Open Acre Licensing Policy (OLAP).
High quality crude oil discovered in Ashoknagar Reserve. The Union Minister said that commercial production from oil mines would increase the revenue of West Bengal and create employment opportunities in the state.
On Sunday, the Public Sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) started production of oil from a well in the Bengal Basin to India's eighth hydrocarbon production basin. The company said in a statement that oil production has started from Ashoknagar-1 well in 24 Parganas district. The head congratulated ONGC and said that the discovery would play an important role in India's energy security. In addition, the Government of India soon issued a guideline for the implementation of the Ashoknagar-2 project.
ONGC is the largest oil and gas producer in the country. It accounts for 72% of the country's hydrocarbon production. The Bengal Basin covers an area of about 1.22 lakh sq km. Two-thirds of this is in the Bay of Bengal. ONGC has so far spent Rs 3,331 crore on hydrocarbon exploration and extraction activities in the Bengal Basin, the statement said. The excavation will cost Tk 425 crore in the next two years.