Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: In a significant development, State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Tuesday entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) for joint cooperation in uranium exploration and development.

The MoU was signed by ONGC Chairman and Managing Director R. S. Sharma and UCIL Chairman and Managing Director R. Gupta in the presence of Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar. Also present on the occasion were ONGC Directors A. K. Balyan, N. K. Mitra, D. K. Pande and U. N. Bose.

Cross-fertilisation

The initiative is based on complementary expertise of the two public enterprises. ONGC has rich experience in hydrocarbon exploration and UCIL, under the Department of Atomic Energy, is in the forefront of uranium mining and processing backed by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research. The cross-fertilisation of ideas and technologies are bound to synergise the new endeavour of uranium prospecting and mining. ONGC is actively exploring possibilities of acquiring uranium properties and exploration licences in several countries through its overseas arm ONGC Videsh Limited.

Time-bound plan

It was decided that a Steering Committee will be formed immediately that will evolve a time-bound programme. ONGC had already initiated the exercise of studying its well logs which have indicated trace presence of the mineral in some wells.