Oil and gas have been struck for the first time in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of India.
GV ZOOM SV Sign outside oil field site in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
GV Oil drilling rig.
GV PAN ZOOM SB Oil rig workers in clouds of dusts.(2 SHOTS)
SV Oil rig worker alongside rig machinery.
SV ZOOM CU Bit descends down drill shaft.
GV TILT UP Drill tower.
SV Workers on site.
GV Drilling rig.
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Background: Oil and gas have been struck for the first time in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of India. India's Petroleum Minister, Veerendra Patil, says production testing of the first well indicates a flow rate of over 600 barrels a day. The offshore find considerably boosts India's hopes of self-sufficiency in oil.
SYNOPSIS: At present, India produces about a third of its annual consumption of 30 million tonnes. The bulk of this oil comes from onshore fields in the state of Assam. But here in Kharsang, in the neighbouring state of Arunachal, work is underway to develop a new production field. Tests have shown that here, too, lie rich oil deposits.
Four production wells have already been drilled and sealed, and others are nor being tested. The oil find in Arunachal is significant, especially as the flow of oil from Assam is being blockaded as part of the state's anti-immigrant unrest. Exploration is being carried out at record speed -- despite the fact that even Oil India must clear large tracts of forest and build new road to bring in drilling equipment.
Even the monsoon season -- which usually brings heavy industry to a halt in North East India -- has not slowed momentum here. The new oil find could change the face and economy of the state.