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Govt of India categorizes onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration activities as Category B2 for green clearance
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) vide notification dated 16 January 2020 categorizes onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration activities as B2 category for seeking prior Environmental Clearance(EC)
In the original EIA Notification, 2006, “offshore and onshore oil & gas exploration, development and production” has been covered under schedule 1(b) and being category A projects require preparation of an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report, conduct of public hearing and clearance from the Union MoEF&CC.
As exploration activities in hydrocarbon sector have been moved from Category A to Category B2, will now require environmental clearance only from the States concerned and will not require preparation of an EIA report or conduct of Public Hearing. However, Development or Production, both on offshore /onshore fields as hydrocarbon blocks, will continue to merit assessment as “category A”.