ONGC finds uranium in Assam; ropes in Uranium Corp

The Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) announced today it has stumbled upon a reserve of uranium while carrying out exploration work in an oilfield in Assam.

"Uranium traces were detected during examination of logs of the Borholla oilfield. Now a joint study is on with the Uranium Corporation to take this entire process forward," said A K Hazarika, director of ONGC's onshore operations, in Guwahati.

He said traces of uranium were detected during exploration work at the Borholla oilfield in Jorhat district, about 360 km east of Guwahati, Assam's capital. There are more than 20 wells in the Borholla oilfield, apart from several abandoned wells.

With an estimated Rs500 crore being sanctioned to carry out research and development and pilots for renewable and alternate energy, two state-run monopolies – ONGC and partner Uranium Corp of India - have begun examining logs of over 900 oil and gas wells, mainly in Assam, to look for uranium reserves.

"Now the process is on to ascertain and examine all the wells in Borholla for uranium reserves," Hazarika told reporters.

This is the first time that uranium traces have been found in an Assam oilfield, though neighbouring north-eastern states like Meghalaya have rich reserves. "According to preliminary findings, the uranium reserves could be huge in this area," another senior ONGC official said.