"With the commencement of production from the Ashoknagar oil and gas reserve, West Bengal finds a place in the oil map," he said after inaugurating the project.
The comes in an attempt to boost the energy need for Atmanirbhar Bharat, the ministry said in a statement,
The discovery of the eighth producing basin of India will play a role for India's energy security, Pradhan said.
Congratulating the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for the discovery, Pradhan said, "Around seven decades of relentless endeavours by scientists and engineers of India have panned out giving hope for a robust development of West Bengal."
"ONGC took a major step by commencing oil production from the well Asokenagar-1, Bengal Basin in 24 Paragana district," the ministry said in a statement.
The Asoknagar-1 well was completed as an oil producer under the early-monetization plan issued by the government. With this, ONGC has discovered seven out of the eight producing basins in India which cover 83% of established oil & gas reserves.
Pradhan said the government is committed to support ONGC in its attempt to bring more oil and gas from the subsurface of West Bengal. This in turn will help bringing new phase of prosperity for the state and the people including local employment, he added.
"The formal dedication of production site to the nation today marks this as a moment of national pride and a gift from soil of West Bengal to India," Pradhan said.
The Union Minister also said the production has started from the petroleum reserve located about 47km from Kolkata. The extracted oil is sent to the Haldia refinery of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Pradhan also said that the crude oil discovered at the Asokenagar reserve is of high quality.
The first oil and gas reserve in West Bengal was discovered in 2018.
The Ashoknagar field, which falls under the Mahanadi- Bengal-Andaman (MBA) basin, has been proved to be commercially viable, he said.
ONGC had spent ₹3,381 crore for the discovery of the Ashoknagar oilfield, he said, adding that two more wells will be explored by the company under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OLAP).
Pradhan attended the event held at Asokenagar and commenced the formal production of oil by switching on the Sucker Rod Pump (SRP). He also visited the geophysical party camp and witnessed the seismic data collection being done for appraisal program of Asokenagar block.
Jyotirmay Singh Mahato, Member of Parliament and Shashi Shanker, CMD, ONGC have accompanied Pradhan at the event, among others, with everyone following Covid protocols, the release stated.
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