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Oil exploration in Manipur, India


Government of India, through its Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, granted license to Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited, a company based in Netherlands, for exploration and drilling works in two oil blocks in Manipur. The state has been known in fact as the 'golden land'; the richest areas are located in the Jiribam (Imphal East), Tamenglong, and Churachandpur districts of Manipur. The contracts were awarded under the eighth round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) of the Government of India. The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Manipur oil Block I, codenamed AA-ONN-2009/1, and the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL), was granted by the Manipur Government on 23rd September, 2010 [1]. The total oil potential in Manipur is nearly 5 Trillion Cubic Feet altogether in the Abin, Kharkhublien, Taithu, Sialman, Laimata, Oinamlong anticlines in the two oil blocks of Manipur. After the getting the contract Jubiliant Energy plans to drill from 30 oil wells in Manipur [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Oil exploration in Manipur, India
State or province:Manipur
Location of conflict:District - Jiribam (Imphal East); Tamenglong; Churachandpur
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for Manipur Oil Block II, codenamed AA-ONN-2009/2, was signed on 19th July, 2010, and the Petroleum Exploration License (PEL) was granted by the Manipur Government on 20th September, 2010. The deeds relating to the PELs were signed on 15th November, 2010, and the Production Sharing Contracts became effective on this date. The total area granted for oil exploration is around 4,000 square kilometres and it is estimated that Manipur has nearly 5 trillion cubic feet of oil and the oil company, Jubiliant Energy, plans to drill from 30 oil wells in Manipur. The latest Annual report of Jubilant Energy indicates that the two Manipur Blocks have prospective oil resources ranging from 380 billion cubic feet to 1.43 trillion cubic feet, with Jubilant Energy holding 100% participating interest [1]. The company contracted Bell Industries to undertake an airborne gradiometer survey, already completed in November 2011. The company even contracted Asian Oilfields and Alpha Geo Company respectively for seismic acquisition, which the company expects to complete by 2013. The Jubilant Energy is envisaged to drill three explorations well in 2013, two in the Oinamlong & Nungba in the North Block and one in Parbung in the South Block [3, 4].

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Project area:400,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2010
Company names or state enterprises:Jubilant Energy
Bell Industries from Canada
Asian Oilfield Services Ltd. from India - contracted for seismic acquisition, which is expected to be completed by 2013
Alpha Geo Company from India - contracted for seismic acquisition, which is expected to be completed by 2013
Relevant government actors:Government of Manipur, Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Manipur Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Coalition on Environment and Natural Resource (CENRs), Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Public petition to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:The Coalition on Environment and Natural Resource (CENRs) urged the company to conduct social impact assessment and human rights impact assessment with the participation of the affected people before taking further action for which the Jubilant and State had to take responsibility, accountability and transparent framework as it falls under the framework of International Corporate Operational Standard, human rights and gender framework [2]
The protestors’ demands
All Oil Exploration & Drilling in Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Jiribam in Manipur is to be stopped
Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 is to be repealed immediately
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 in Manipur is to be implemented immediately [4]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The oil exploration move proves clear disrespect to local people and their natural and cultural heritage. It’s impossible for the people of Manipur to accept the outright sale of their land and resources to a profit-mongering company, without informing the people and without recognizing our rights [1].
The people were not consulted by the government on their own land and so the The Coalition on Environment and Natural Resource (CENRs) is concerned about the intention of Jubilant Oil and the government which is grave injustice to the indigenous people and said that it will also militarize the affected areas as security will be stationed to enforce the project [2]
The indigenous peoples of Manipur are not informed on the terms and conditions deliberated in the contracts and licensing agreements between the Government of India, Government of Manipur and the Jubilant Energy. Innocent villagers of Tamenglong, Churachandpur District and Jiribam are duped to sign no objections letters or NOC for Seismic surveys by AlphaGeo Company without informing them the purpose and objectives. Communities are also misinformed that oil exploration will also bring roads, schools, hospitals, employment, etc in their respective villages. So, communities of Manipur and in particular those in interior areas without prospects of oil explorations and dam constructions will continue to reel without roads, schools, health facilities and other basic facilities. The Government of Manipur, so far, has remained silent [3].
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

The Oilfields (Regulation and Development)Act, 1948 (53 of 1948) (8th September, 1948)
[click to view]

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 Act 28 of 1958, 11th September, 1958
[click to view]

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 1959 ( As amended from time to time )
[click to view]

The Oil Industry (Development) Act, 1974

[click to view]

[Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines] (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act, 1962.
[click to view]

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
[click to view]

[1] INDIA: Oil exploration: boon or bane for Manipur
[click to view]

[2] State tribal coalition body against oil exploration in Manipur
[click to view]

[3] Beyond Promises: Oil Exploration in Manipur
[click to view]

[4] Stop Oil Exploration and Drilling in Manipur
[click to view]

Jubilant Energy Annual Report
[click to view]

oil wells detected in Manipur
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:979
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