Chronology of E&P Events in India

The story of oil in India began in the dense jungles, swamps, damp and undulated terrain of Brahmputra Valley, Assam in the middle of 19th century. The first well was drilled by Mr.Goodenough of Mc killop, Stewart and Co.; near Jaipur in Upper Assam in 1866 following a clue of oil show detected in the feet of an elephant carrying logs. This was just seven years after the famous ‘Drake Well’, which heralded the beginning of the Petroleum era, was drilled in Titus Ville, Pennsylvania, USA (1859)

1889 W.L.Lake of Assam Railway and Trading Co. (AR & T Co) started Digboi Well No-1 Lake used to urge his men “Dig boy, dig” and hence the name “Digboi” The discovery of the ‘Digboi Oil field’ in Upper Assam was a landmark in the history of oil.
1899 AR&T Co formed a new company Assam Oil Company (AOC) and set up a small refinery at Margharita (Upper Assam) with a capacity of 500 bopd to refine the Digboi-oil.
1901 Digboi refinery commissioned.
1911 Burmah Oil Company (BOC) arrives on the Indian scene .
1921 Burmah Oil Company (BOC) takes over Assam Oil Company (AOC).
1925 India’s first attempt to use geophysics in its search for oil with a Torsion balance survey in the Bordubi area.
1937-39 Seismic surveys were initiated in and a major ‘High’ was located at Nahorkatiya in Assam. The successful outcome of NHK-1 was a triumphant vindication of the geophysical methods of exploration.Nahorkatiya triggered a new wave of enthusiasm in the search for oil in the country and became the forerunner of discoveries not only in Assam basin but also in other basins.
1948 Geological Survey of India (GSI) started geophysical surveys in Cambay area.
1956 Moran oil field discovered by AOC.
August 14, 1956 Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) was established.
October 15, 1959 ONGC becomes autonomous body, under an act of parliament.
1959 Oil India Private Ltd (OIL) incorporated and registered as a Rupee Company.
1960 Oil struck at Ankleswar in Gujarat and Rudrasagar in Assam.
1961 GOI and BOC become equal partners in OIL.
1962 The first public sector refinery comes up at Guwahati.
1963 World’s first crude oil conditioning plant commissioned at Nahorkatiya. India’s first deviated well NHK122 drilled by OIL.
1963 ONGC started offshore seismic surveys in Gulf of Cambay.
1968 Oil discovered in Geleki by ONGC. OIL commissioned the 1158 km oil pipeline to Guwahati and Barauni refineries.
1970 India’s first offshore well spudded in the Gulf of Cambay.
1974 Drillship Sagar Samrat strikes oil in Bombay High.
1974 Bombay High discovered.
1981 First well spudded in Godavari offshore.
14 October 1981 OIL becomes a Government of India enterprise.
1983-84 Gas struck at Razole in Andhra Pradesh and Gotaru in Rajasthan.
1984 First Early Production system (EPS) commences in Gujarat .
1984 Gas was struck at Gotaru in Rajasthan by ONGC.
1984-85 Oil struck in kutch offshore, Godavari offshore and Changmaigam in Assam.
1986-87 ONGC strikes oil in the Tapti offshore area and Namti structure (Assam).
1988-89 Commercial gas finds in Rajasthan by OIL Nada field in Gujarat discovered .
1989-90 Western offshore production reaches a peak of 21.72 MMT.
1989-90 South Heera field discovered in Mumbai offshore.
1998 New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) launched and 48 Exploration blocks offered under round-I.
2000 Second round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 25 Exploration blocks offered .
2001 One CBM block awarded on nomination basis.
2002 Third round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 27 Exploration blocks offered.
2002 First round of CBM blocks bidding held and 5 blocks awarded.
2003 Fourth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 24 Exploration blocks offered.
2003 Two CBM blocks awarded on nomination basis.
2004 Second round of CBM blocks bidding held and 5 blocks awarded.
2005 Fifth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 20 Exploration blocks offered .
2006 Sixth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 55 Exploration blocks offered .
2006 Third round of CBM blocks bidding held and 10 blocks awarded.
2007 Seventh round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 57 Exploration blocks offered .
2010 Fourth round of CBM blocks bidding held and 7 blocks awarded.
2010 Eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 32 Exploration blocks awarded.
2012 Ninth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy launched and 14 Exploration blocks awarded.