New Delhi - Aiming to increase domestic production of oil and natural gases, and generate employment, the government has approved conducting of survey and acquiring data of the unexplored sedimentary basins spread across 24 states.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a project worth Rs 2,932.99 crore to acquire seismic data over 48,243 line km.
"The project will help in increasing the investments in domestic production of oil and gas," an official statement said.
The government estimates that the project will generate 11,000 jobs, while after survey and based on the prospects of productivity and exploration, more employment would be generated.
Under the project, Oil India Limited will explore the northeastern states and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation will cover the remaining area for the next five years.
India has 26 sedimentary basins -- a low area in the Earth's crust where sediments or naturally occurring materials have accumulated -- covering an area of 3.14 million sqkm spreading over land, shallow water and deep water.
However, about 48% or 1.502 million sq.km. of the area lacks adequate data which is essential for further exploration and production of natural resources like oil and gas.
"After the appraisal of these basins, and based on the prospective of the area, blocks will be offered for further exploration and production activities which will further generate employment," said an official statement.
As a base to launch future exploration and production activities, appraisal of all unappraised areas has been considered an important task.
The preparatory work started in 2015-16 and actual survey work started in 2016-17 and more than 9,100 line km 2D seismic data has been acquired till July 2017.