"OEC has undertaken a collaborative research, development and demonstration project with Talboom, a Belgian firm to harness geothermal energy in South Cambay Basin (Gandhar field) by setting up a pilot power plant," a ONGC official told PTI, adding it is the first of its kind initiative.
"The pilot power plant of 3-5 MW scale would be set up through a 50:50 joint venture between OEC and Talboom by 2013-14," he said.
As per preliminary estimates, OEC expects South Cambay basin zone to have the potential to generate few hundred megawatts of geothermal energy, he said.
"ONGC has already dug close to 4,000 wells in South Cambay basin varying in depth from 3,000 to 4,000 metres having temperatures level between 150 to 170 degree centigrade in that zones," he said.
"If we encounter higher temperature zones, things could change drastically," the official said, referring to energy generation potential.
The project is at an initial stage and OEC has got into the process of stakeholder consultations for it, the ONGC official said.
"We will be using one of our dry wells from where we are not producing anything as well as dig a new well in the said zone. At these temperature levels (150-170 degree centigrade) we will take out hot water and through that we will generate steam to run the power plant," he added.
Talboom, the joint venture partner for the project will provide technical know-how for the project, the official said adding the Belgian company has track record of harnessing geothermal energy in Europe.
Geothermal electricity generation (electricity generated from geothermal energy) is currently used in 24 countries, while geothermal heating is in use in 70 countries.