You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Jammu-Pak border might have oil & gas, says ONGC

Company has not been able to carry out drilling in this belt owing to growing tension between India and Pakistan

Shishir Prashant  |  Dehradun 


“If Pakistan can discover lots of oil and gas across the border, why can't India also discover hydrocarbons in areas very close to the borders?” asked an ONGC official

After years of exploration in the Himalayan region, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is yet to find anything in the fragile mountainous regions of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal, despite drilling in several areas.

However, its senior officials say their studies indicate chances of huge oil and gas reserves on the 100-km Bhimbargali-Naushera border belt in Jammu’s Poonch and Rajauri districts (confirmed by N K Verma, director, exploration), where oil exploration has become a major challenge for security reasons. It hasn’t been able to drill here; Pakistani troops fire regularly on Indian positions.

And, Pakistan has found around 50 oil wells across the border.

“If Pakistan can discover lots of oil and gas across the border, why can’t India also discover hydrocarbons in these areas, very close to the borders?” asked an ONGC official.

Allotment policy
They also say the central government should change its policy of allotting oil blocks in this area, instead going for auction.

“We can buy these blocks through auction and carry out our drilling with the help of the army,” said a top official. The centre at present allocates blocks to oil through a bidding process.

On the other hand, ONGC had been drilling regularly elsewhere in Jammu and Himachal Pradesh, where it has not been able to strike any gas or oil. Recently, it drilled 5,000 metres at the Kasauli block in Himachal Pradesh; it is set to drill in one more block in the Jwalamukhi area, shortly. ONGC spends around Rs 100 crore for drilling one block.

When contacted, ONGC director (exploration) N K Verma confirmed that ONGC’s studies show that there are chances of finding oil and gas in the Bhimbargali-Naushera belt in Jammu and Kashmir.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, February 07 2014. 00:38 IST