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STOP Hydro-Carbon Project / Oil Well Exploration in Tamil Nadu. Save Farming Land & Water!

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CBM - Coal Bed Methane / Shale Gas Extraction / Oil Well Exploration - Requires Immediate STOP !!! 

Tamil Nadu (Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur) 

On March 27th 2017, The Petroleum Ministry has signed the contract of 31 fields awarded under the Discovered Small Field (DSF) Bid Round 2016. Under the nomination regime, 31 mining leases have been granted in the State from where 600 tonnes of oil and 30 lakhs cubic meter of natural gas are produced a day.

Neduvasal  Hydro Carbon Project - Awarded To - Gem Laboratories

Karaikal Oil Field – Awarded To - Bharat Petro Resources

Kathiramangalam Oil Well Exp – Awarded To - ONGC  

People of all these districts are protesting against these projects and raising concerns of adverse environmental effects these projects are going to create.

Late Mr. G Nammalwar, (A popular organic farming proponent) has done the ground work on creating awareness among people about the CBM project's adverse effect in Thanjavur (TN) from 2010 to 2016. 

Delta areas are usually rich in Natural gases since they are near river beds. Methane deposits are found deep under the ground. The extraction process of Methane or any Hydro Carbon is called Hydraulic Fracturing (HF).

Procedure Of Hydraulic Fracturing:

  • Drilling deep holes Vertically downwards till the depth of methane deposit is reached.
  • Once the depth is reached the drilling takes a Horizontal route.
  • The methane deposits are trapped amid the rocks, there.
  • Hence the rocks are to be crushed so as to release and extract methane gas.
  • This is done by fracturing the rocks using highly pressurized fluids- comprising various chemicals and sands suspended in water.

As Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam are the Delta Districts in Tamil Nadu, the main occupation here is Agriculture throughout the year. Though drought hit us hard in the past few years, still somehow our farmers manage to withstand and continue cultivation.

Disadvantage Of Oil Extraction/ Hydro-Carbon /Shale Gas Extraction (Or any name they may coin in future):

  1. In addition to Methane, it will release other hydrocarbons like ethane etc..
  2. The Gas Wells can’t be removed or recycled. So eventually they will collapse in future and spoil the whole area and will make then un-liveable area.
  3. Ground water depletion in coming years since the extraction required tonnes and tonnes of water (12-15 gallons per min).
  4. Drinking water will be polluted by the substances injected during HF process.
  5. Farming land / soil will be polluted. Agriculture will not be possible few years down the line.
  6. The extracted waste (during exploration) can’t be treated, so it will be stored in ponds on the surface.
  7. Air-pollution: Continuous burning of Gases leads to air pollution and respiratory problem from people around the areas.
  8. Radiation will be released from the chemicals to the nearby areas.
  9. Number of Cancer complaints will increase in the nearby villages.
  10. Very high possibility of skin diseases and it would easily affect children.  
  11. Since the rocks beneath the land is fractured, high possibility of buildings collapsing in the nearby areas.

Accidents / Incidents Of The Past:  

Case #1: On 30 June 2017 – Kathiramangalam – Thanjavur DT.

At Kathiramangalam ONGC Pipeline broke and the crude oil is leaking to land  for hours. Watch this video.  

Case #2: 2008 – 2009 – Neduvasal – Pudukottai DT.

An exploratory well constructed by ONGC has made us understand the future disaster waiting for us. "ONGC dug the well for 3 months. The gas would burn orange/blue with black smoke/no smoke" says T. Amudha (Engineer). She was pointing a pond filled with wastes poured out during the extraction process and it is lying there for 7 years now. During rain they overflow and mix with the water and reach neighbouring lands. Watch Video.

Case #3: 2010 -2012 Nagapattinam DT

There were instance when the underground oil pipelines broke and the crude oil leaked to the farming fields spoiled crops, irrigation canals and contaminated ground water. 

Case #4: 2014 - Nagapattinam DT

At an environmental public hearing concerns raised by local farmers are Air and Water Pollution, Ground-water Depletion and Increased Incidence of Respiratory Diseases. Also Farmland Contamination, Lapses in restoring damaged lands and awarding meagre compensation.


The New India Express  , The Hindu  , The Live Mint , The Hindu Business Line , The Wire


All the information provided above are collected from various sources. I hold no ownership to any of the videos embedded. I give credits to the creators of those article contents, images, videos etc.. which helped me to explain the cause we are fighting for.   

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