Jammu and Kashmir is again in the news, but this time not for the terrorists’ activities and as the flash point of cross border terrorism but for its possible debut on global energy map.
The government of India has announced the seventh round of auction for exploration acreages in March-April. The directorate general of hydrocarbons (DGH) who is the porter for the country’s hydrocarbons treasures has imprinted out two acreages in the Jammu region for the exploration in the coming auction.
The acreages would be listed in the 78 blocks those are going to be offered for exploration in the scheduled bidding round. It would be the seventh auction as the government had started auctioning acreages in 1999.
According to a DGH official, the J&K is going to make it presence on the country’s exploration map. On the question of the outline of the area, he declined the answer on some technical ground.
He told Times of India:
Our job is to ensure exploration of more and more areas in the country. Our efforts have dispelled the belief that India is devoid of hydrocarbons as a series of oil and gas strikes have been reported in the recent past.
The TOI has reported about the geological map that indicates the acreage to cover areas around Jammu and expected to stretch from Udhampur in the west to Kishtwar in the east.
The foothills and plains of the Pir Panjal range that divides the Jammu region from the Kashmir valley would also come in the range of the expected exploration.
According to the official, the J&K acreage is expected to be divided into two separate blocks. As per the initial geological data showed by the DGH, there is a higher possibility of gas, rather than oil, may be found during exploration.
Further, three more states are all set to be figured in the government’s energy map for the first time. One acreage has already been carved in Punjab. And now, DGH has planned to offer blocks in Haryana as well as Himachal Pradesh too.
However, as the J&K block lays close to the Line of Control, some hurdle might come from the side of defence and home ministries.