The Centre's green panel has given a clearance to the state-owned ONGC for its Rs 1,752-crore project involving drilling of 406 development wells in oil fields in Gujarat's Cambay Basin.
The proposed drilling is expected to be undertaken at the company's Ahmedabad asset located in Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and Kheda districts.
The asset currently produces 3,725 tonnes per day crude oil and 5.8 lakh cubic meters (m3) of natural gas on a daily basis.
After detailed deliberations, the expert appraisal committee (EAC) found the final EIA/EMP (environment impact assessment and environment management plan) report "adequate" and suggested stipulating specific conditions along with other environmental conditions while considering accord of clearance, according to minutes of the EAC meeting held last month.
Based on the EAC recommendations, the Union environment ministry will soon take a final call on the proposal, the official said.
The cost of the ONGC's drilling project is estimated at Rs 1,752 crore. The depth of drilling wells will be in the range of 800-2,000 metres.
According to EAC, the final environmental clearance to the project would be subject to obtaining prior clearance from the wildlife point of view, including clearance from the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife as applicable.
It also suggested that the ministry impose specific conditions, including monitoring of ambient air quality, putting in place a mechanism to control noise from the drilling activity, preparation of oil spillage prevention and mitigation scheme, among others.