Even as certain groups and political parties are carrying on their campaign against the proposed hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal, Anna University’s head of Geology department L. Elango offers a contrarian view, dismissing fears of groundwater depletion and harmful effects on farming.
In India, the zone that holds oil or natural gas is found beyond a depth of 2,000 metres and it is seal or cap rock that separates the oil reservoir from the rest of the formation above it. A small area, say 100 x 100 square metres, is enough for drilling, and the technology has developed to such an extent that if there is oil reserve in a particular area, the drilling can be done from a distance of a few km. This is how the drilling is carried out world over, he says, adding that there is no basis for any apprehension that groundwater would be depleted or agriculture hit.
He says the best zone will have predominantly oil with lesser gas. If a greater amount of water is present in the reservoir, this will not be considered for exploitation. But, he stresses that any mining or exploitation of natural resources should be done as per norms.