Porayar: Public-sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), engaged in exploration activities along the Cauvery basin, has achieved an all-time high oil and gas production up to December in the current fiscal.
“In the first nine months of 2008-09, we exceeded the annual target in all spheres. Till 31 December, 2008, 2.028 lakh tonnes of oil was produced against the target of 2.01 lakh tonnes. Gas production stood at 939 million metric standard cubic metres (MMSCM) against the targetted 859 MMSCM.
“This was followed by an increase in sales of gas at 929 MMSCM, against the targetted 845 MMSCM,” K K Anjaneyalu, group general manager of Cauvery Asset said.
The intricate geographical processes taking place under the sands of the Cauvery basin have made it the “home of hydrocarbons” in South India. The basin covers an area of 27,850 sq km and extends from Puducherry in the north to Ramnad in the south, Thanjavur in the west and Karaikal in the east.
In May 2008, ONGC’s Cauvery Asset launched India’s first pilot plant to extract helium from natural gas at Kuthalam in Nagapattinam district.
Anjanayelu said the pilot plant at Kuthalam could play an important role in ensuring the nation’s energy security. Once successful, ONGC would invest more for commercial production.
“A gas of strategic importance, helium is used in many applications, including space technology, cryogenics and atomic reactors. Global supply of helium is fast depleting and imbalance between supply and demand is growing at an alarming rate. The entire requirement of helium (around 1.80 lakh cubic meters per annum) in India is now met through imports.
“This imbalance will grow into a big crisis in future. in such a situation, India will be in a disadvantageous position,“he said
He pointed out that though natural gas is being produced from many wells in the country, gas collected from Kuthalam has significantly higher helium content at 0.05 %.
For this technological innovation, Cauvery Asset was conferred the Golden Peacock innovative product service award 2008 by the 19th world Congress on total quality at Mumbai in January this year, Anjanayelu said.