Reliance Gets Approval to Drill 8 Exploration Wells Off India's Tamil Nadu
India's conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) received government approval to drill 8 exploratory wells in Block DY-III-D5 located offshore the southern state of Tamil Nadu, with the project expected to cost $118.84 million (INR 8 billion), according to a report Monday by local daily The Economic Times.
Reliance, which holds rights to explore for hydrocarbons in the offshore block under India's New Exploration Licensing Policy-III, has been granted the environment clearance to drill 11 prospects in the block.
So far, the company has discovered hydrocarbons in 3 of the 9 wells drilled in the block. The plan to drill the 8 exploration wells is intended to establish the reservoir capacity after seismic data and the earlier drilling campaign highlighted the presence of hydrocarbons in the block.
"Based on the recommendation of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), the Environment Ministry on June 30 gave environment clearance for the RIL's exploratory drilling project in Tamil Nadu (subject to the meeting of certain environmental conditions)," a senior government official said, as cited in The Economic Times.
The company has to ensure that gas produced during the drilling is flared with appropriate flaring booms and to make sure that there is no impact on flora and fauna caused by the drilling of the offshore wells, while taking conservation measures to protect the marine animals/biota in the region.
Reliance is also required to monitor the petroleum and heavy metals concentration in the marine fish species regularly and submit report to the government. The government further suggested that all hazardous waste generated by the rig and other offshore facilities involved in the drilling should be properly treated, transported to shore and disposed of in accordance with the norms.
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