ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Cambay Oil Strike.

Weekly Note from Volume X, No 39, September 27, 1958.

When oil is struck the right thing to do is to cross ones fingers and hope for the best, for as Malaviyaji told Lok Sabha that however successful the strike in Cambay, it was premature to say that oil had been found in sufficient quantity to ensure successful commercial exploitation. In damping the enthusiasm of the Members of Lok Sabha, Malaviyaji was wise, for one can never tell in these matters. There are two features about the strike in Cambay which suggest tremendous possibilities. One is that oil has been struck at a depth of around 6,500 feet which compares very favourably with the average depth of more than 10,000 feet at which oil has been located in Assam and proved to be suitable for commercial exploitation. The second feature, also important, is that it is a gushing well which has been struck. That is to say, if further drilling in this area confirms the findings of the test wells so far dug, extraction would be economical in that it will not require expensive pumping operations.

Today, Shri K D Malaviya must be the luckiest among all the Ministers of the Central Government and it is not surprising that the supplementary demands for his Ministry should have been passed by the Lok Sabha without a murmur. The strike, whatever the eventual outcome, should push oil exploration right into the heart of the hard core of the Plan. So long both the Natural Gas and Oil Commission and the Minister in charge of oil explorations had many critics. It is no secret that the Planning Commission never looked kindly on the proposal for extending these activities, though in fairness to the Commission it should be noted that allocation for oil exploration has been increased...

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