Neduvasal hydrocarbon project : Controversy
Neduvasal Hydrocarbon project
Before we head towards Neduvasal Hydrocarban Project, let us go through the Trending current affairs articles of this month.
Neduvasal Hydrocarbon project : Background
- Central government is planning to explore and extract hydrocarbon in Neduvasal village in Pudukkottai district, Tamil Nadu.
- On 15 February, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by PM gave its approval for all the hydrocarbon projects including Neduvasal Hydrocarbon Project as a part of the Centre’s 2015 Discovered Small Fields policy.
Neduvasal Hydrocarbon Project
- The hydrocarbon project is overseen by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons and in 2015, the Government of India started the ‘Discovered Small field’ policy.
- In May 2016, the bidding process was started for hydrocarbon blocks across the country.
- This new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) replaced the previous licensing format (NELP) which was already in place for 18 years. The New Exploration Licensing policy(NELP) had issued separate licenses to different types of hydrocarbons, whereas HELP covered all hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, coal bed methane, etc.
- This Neduvasal Hydrocarbon Project was awarded to GEM laboratories Private Limited, a company based out of Davangere in Karnataka.
Neduvasal Hydrocarbon Project : Objections
- Villagers are saying that agriculture will be heavily impacted if extraction begins. They are also apprehensive that fertility of the land will be affected and groundwater will be contaminated.
- There is also fear that there could be saline water intrusion if the sea water and ground water interface is disturbed.
- Moreover, no agricultural activity can happen while the exploration is on and villages in and around Neduvasal are completely dependent on agriculture.
- The government has not exactly specified where in Neduvasal is the exploration going to take place. It simply says Neduvasal.
- There is no clarity on how the crude oil will be extracted. There are concerns that Gas Injection Process would contaminate the water resources.
Neduvasal Hydrocarbon Project : Benefits
- Hydrocarbon production will result in several economic benefits to State and its people in the form of royalty, VAT, additional employment generation and economic development as per petroleum ministry.
- The Government of India aims to use the HELP to reduce India’s crude imports by 10% by 2022. It aims to net a revenue of Rs 9,300 crore from this project out of which the state is expected to get Rs 5,000 crore.