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Oil India to drill the first test well in coal bed methane (CBM) block in 2012

According to reports, India’s second largest public sector explorer Oil India (OIL) targets Rs 19,000 crore capital expenditure (capex) during the 12th five-year plan. The explorer is also planning to foray into other sources of energy such as solar and wind, OIL chairman NM Borah told Financial Chronicle in an interview.

OIL plans to drill the first test well in coal bed methane (CBM) block in 2012.

“Our planned capex for the next five years is Rs 19,000 crore. We also have plans to increase our exploratory efforts by 91 per cent and development by 22 per cent based on the proposed number of wells to be drilled during the five-year plan,” said Borah.

“For this year, our investment lined up is Rs 3,180 crore, and 52 per cent of this is for exploration and appraisal activities,” the OIL chairman said.

In the fourth round of CBM block auction, OIL bagged the block AS-CBM-2008/IV in consortium with DART Energy, which is the operator of the block. OIL has 40 per cent participating interest in the block. The block is located in Assam and spread over an area of 113 sq km.

“Statutory approvals are being taken by the operator. We plan to drill the pilot test well in 2012 under the Phase I of the work programme,” Borah said.

At present, OIL is also assessing few overseas shale gas assets for farming in and gaining hands-on experience in the business. “The focus is on entering into a strategic tie-up on this with suitable partners,” he said.

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