Reports have appeared in the media alleging that the wells of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in the state of Tamil Nadu do not have valid Consent to Operate (CTO). ONGC deny these allegations which are based on inferences drawn from partial data and incomplete information. It is hereby clarified as follows:
As on 01.03.2018, ONGC has drilled a total of 712 wells in the state of Tamil Nadu, out of which 380 wells are dry and abandoned. 304 are Oil & Gas bearing wells which are in turn connected to various production installations, out of which 181 wells are presently flowing/operational. 28 are utility wells which are also connected to the installations.
As per TNPCB board resolution No. 111-6 dated 09.08.1991, there is no permanent environmental pollution from the completed oil wells connected to the production installations. It was decided that ONGC’s wells may be exempted for further renewal of consent order after connecting to the production installations. ONGC is required to apply for and pay consent fees for all the wells during the stage of exploration. Once production has commenced and the wells connected to the production installations, there is no need for individual wells to pay fees for renewal of consent. The fees would be collected from the production installation for all the wells connected to it.
ONGC has applied for CTO along with consent fees for all the wells before commencing drilling operation. Also, ONGC has been regularly applying for renewal of CTO for production installations along with consent fees and the same are granted by TNPCB. Hence, all the connected wells are covered under ‘consent to operate’.
In case any well has been abandoned, there is no question of renewal of CTO or payment of consent fees.
ONGC appeals to the people of Tamil Nadu not to be misled by misinformed allegations being raised by vested interest groups.