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The Indian Oil Industry



    ON the whole, the Indian oil industry figures less prominently in the general Press than that of other countries, notably the United States of America. The erroneous conclusion may, therefore, be drawn that methods of exploration, production and refining are not so far advanced in that country as in others. A recent paper by P. Evans (Current Science, 5, March 1937), however, clarifies this position by giving a succinct account of modern technique with particular reference to its application to conditions encountered in India and Burma. The main producing oil-fields are at Yenangyaung, Singu and Lanywa in Burma ; Digboi in Assam ; and Khaur in north-west India. Exhaustive geological mapping has been carried out over a vast area of India and Burma, and maps are available ranging in scale from 4 to 16 inches per mile. Numerous exploratory wells have been drilled, and the fact that the six leading companies in India have spent six crores of rupees on unsuccessful drilling indicates that neither time nor money has been spared in the search for new producing fields. Failure to locate such fields can in no circumstances be attributed to lack of scientific aid, for the help of the geophysicist and the geologist has been freely enlisted in India and Burma. The former has such adjuncts at his disposal as the torsion balance, seismograph, magnetometer and potentiometer ; and the latter the aeroplane for field reconnaissance of large areas, the core-drill for putting down shallow-bores to check structure, and laboratory methods of palæontology, micro-palæontology and micro-petrology for the examination of core-samples.

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