Oil Resources In Kashmir Need To Be Exploited: Experts

23 May 2009

London: Experts have strongly advocated undertaking petroleum exploration in Kashmir IRNA News Agency reported. They asked the Oil And Natural Gas Corporation of India to resume its operations in the state which it had suspended 22 years ago following the pro-independence uprising. Kashmir is considered to have potentially rich rocks of two petroleum systems and Geo-thermal energy which needed to be tapped, but were subject to focused research, they said. Bindra Thusu, professor, Maghreb Petroleum Group at the University College London, and Professor G. M. Bhat, Geology Department, University of Jammu, conceded security concerns in the state, but pointed out that exploration activities and drilling were on in other violence-hit areas like Assam and other regions of the Indian north-east. Delivering a presentation on “Hydrocarbon Exploration Activity in Jammu and Kashmir State: Current Status” at a three-day international workshop on 'Energy Challenges in Jammu and Kashmir State: A case study for the Energy Research Institute' being organized jointly by University of Kashmir, University of Jammu and Maghreb Petroleum Research Group, University College London at University of Kashmir, the two Geo-scientists said that it was also a high time to formulate an oil exploration policy for the Kashmir state. Strongly recommending the ONGC to resume its activity in Kashmir, Prof Thusu and Prof Bhat backed by the other geoscientists attending the conference suggested that the Directorate of Geology and Mining be re-organized as the Directorate of Energy, Geo-science and Mining and the proposed Directorate should initiate research for hydrocarbons on the model of Gujarat Sate Oil Corporation and ONGC should provide the data on the exploration activity done by them. Regarding hydrocarbon prospectivity in Kashmir, the Geo-scientists said that to prove an area to be potentially prospective a period of 3-5 years of research was required. Kashmir, they said, was already on the hydrocarbon prospective map of India, and to find leads and prospects would take another 5-8 years of research. Given these time constrains, they said, it was high time to formulate an oil exploration policy for the state. In this regard a modest beginning has been made in the Geology Department of Jammu University in collaboration with University College London and University of Lille, they said.