British oil major set to begin survey in Bihar

Patna, January 15:

British exploration major Cairn Energy Search Ltd (CESL) is set to begin a survey in Bihar’s Ganges basin for oil and natural gas today afternoon, the first such exploration in the state.

The CESL and its sister concern, Cairn Energy Search India Ltd, which has been given a seven-year license, will begin the survey in the basin, which comprises 13 districts spread over 15,500-sq-km.

“The much-awaited work for exploration would formally start with launching of an aero magnetic survey by chief minister Nitish Kumar,” energy minister Vijendra Prasad Yadav said.

A specially designed and high-tech airplane was hired from Canada Sunday for conducting the survey, sources in state mines and geological department said. Official sources said exploration project had got clearance from all ministries, including defence, petroleum, civil aviation and atomic energyand Geological Survey of India.

According to independent estimates, reserves in the Ganges basin, known locally as Purina basin, could be as high as 465 million tonnes of crude and natural gas. Experts say the reserves can be tapped after drilling up to 4,400 metres.