PM for appropriate utilisation of advanced exploration

Sibsagar (Assam): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said appropriate utilisation of technology in oil exploration and refinery will be of great importance for the country in the coming years.

"It is well known that oil and gas will continue to provide the major portion of our energy requirement. Hence, appropriate utilisation of advanced oil and gas exploration and production technology, modern refining technology and efficient distribution of petroleum products in the country will be of great importance in the coming years," he said.

Laying the foundation stone of the country`s second Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT) here, he said the Centre has undertaken studies for assessing shale gas potential in the country, including in the North East region where hydro carbon discoveries have been made in four wells.

"Many areas in the region are being assessed for shale (an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock) gas resource mapping and it is in this background that the establishment of this institute in Assam will be beneficial," he said.

The NE region is greatly endowed with hydrocarbon and during the last fiscal year contributed around 15 per cent of the country`s crude oil and produced 3.38 billion cubic metre of natural gas.

"In eight rounds of the New Exploration Licencing policy, 25 exploration blocks covering 42,000 sq km have been awarded so far to the North East states and of these 50 are in Assam," he said.

The Prime Minister said RGIPT would be of world class standard and will produce technical personnel serving as leaders and innovators in the fields of petroleum technology, engineering and management.

"Since the few existing institutes are not in a position to meet this increasing requirement of technical manpower, the proposed RGIPT is intended to reduce this gap between demand and supply in the future," he said.

Singh said it was only befitting that the institute is named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi as "his contribution to modernisation and development of our country is immense and he believed that application of science and technology was crucial to our development processes," he said.