World's best gas-yielding zone in Tripura: ONGC

Agartala, Aug 14 (IANS) The northeastern state of Tripura has perhaps the world's highest success rate when it came to yielding natural gas, a top official of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said Wednesday.

"We are striking gas in one out of every two wells drilled in Tripura, while the average ratio worldwide is one out of every three wells," said ONGC group general manager Ved Prakash Mahawar.

Since 1972, ONGC has drilled 176 wells in Tripura, bordering Bangladesh. Of these, 82 are yielding gas in 11 fields.

"Currently ONGC is producing 3.95 million cubic metres gas per day and it would be doubled (6.35 million cubic metres) within the next three years," Mahawar told reporters.

The gas exploration major has committed to supplying gas to two giant power projects - 726 MW Palatana power plant and 104 MW Monarchak power project in Tripura, besides providing piped gas supply to 12,200 households for cooking. It will also feed CNG (compressed natural gas) to 5,100 vehicles and auto-rickshaws, as well as industrial units.

The official said that the technical problem in supplying gas to Palatana power plant in southern Tripura had been sorted out earlier this week, and the project would resume generating electricity any time.

President Pranab Mukherjee June 21 dedicated to the nation the gas-based Palatana power project, 60 km south of here.

After the inauguration, the project had to stop generating electricity due to a technical snag in the supply pipeline.

The Palatana and Monarchak power projects would resolve the power crisis of seven of the eight northeastern states, as electricity from those would be transmitted to the power-starved states through the national transmission grid.

The Palatana power project, being commissioned at a cost of Rs.10,000 crore, including its 660-km-long transmission line, is the first commercial power project of ONGC in India.

The gas based Monarchak power plant is being set up by the state-owned North Eastern Electric Power Corporation in western Tripura at a cost of Rs.960 crore.

Mahawar, who is also the head of the ONGC Tripura Asset, said that the ONGC, in association with the Rajasthan-based private company Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited, would set up a gas-based fertilizer plant in Tripura to meet the growing shortage of urea in the eastern and northeastern states.

The 1.3 million tonne per annum capacity fertilizer plant would be set up in northern Tripura at a cost of Rs.5,000 crore, and is expected to start production by 2017.

"Tata Consultancy Limited would prepare the DPR (detailed project report) for the fertilizer plant by December this year," the official added.

According to the official, under the corporate social responsibility projects (CSR) of ONGC, the company has already invested crores of rupees in sports, education, health, development and other sectors in Tripura.

The ONGC would spend Rs.25 crore to develop the Dasaratha Deb multi-purpose sports stadium at Badharghat, near here.

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