India Maps Huge Gas Reserves Around Andaman Islands

According to the Indian Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal are sitting of a vast unexplored natural gas reserves, estimated at around 610 million tons. "We have mapped vast natural gas reserves around the Andaman Islands. Eighteen leads (hydrocarbon indicators) have been identified," Avinash Chandra, Director General, DGH, said at the promotional road show for the fourth offer of oil and gas blocks under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). Two blocks in the Andaman region - AA-DWN-2002/1 and AA-DWN-2002-2 - are among the 24 oil and gas blocks on offer in NELP-IV.

Besides natural gas reserves, seven gas hydrates have also been mapped. "We anticipate that free gas reserves in the region is of the order of 23 billion cubic meters," he said.

India's domestic gas production at present is around 29 billion cubic metres.

"Andaman Nicobar Basin is located between two proven petroliferous basins - Myanmar in north and Sumatra in south," he said while stating that fresh seismic surveys have upwardly revised the estimated reserves from 180 million tons of oil and oil equivalent gas to 610 million tons of oil and oil equivalent gas. Gas hydrate and free gas reserves are besides these reserves. Chandra said the deepwater Krishna Godavari Basin, Mahanadi Basin and Mumbai offshore hold promise for big hydrocarbon finds.