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Oil Industry Environmental Regulations in India

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The Indian oil industry plays a crucial role in the country’s economy, but it also has significant environmental impacts. As a result, the Indian government has implemented a series of regulations to regulate and mitigate the environmental impact of the oil industry. In this article, we will explore the various environmental regulations in the Indian oil industry.

Oil Industry Environmental Regulations in India

Overview of Indian Environmental Regulations

The Indian government has established various environmental laws and regulations to address the country’s environmental concerns. The main environmental laws in India are the Environmental Protection Act 1986, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 [6]. These laws set the parameters for businesses to follow, such as industry-specific air emissions, discharge standards, and more.

Environmental Regulations for Oil Industry

Apart from the general environmental laws, the Indian government has also implemented specific environmental regulations for the oil industry. Below are some of the regulations that govern the Indian oil industry.

Oilfields (Regulation and Development) Act 1948

The Oilfields (Regulation and Development) Act, of 1948 is the basic statute for licensing and leasing of petroleum and gas blocks by the Government of India, which empowers it with broad authority to make rules providing for the basic regulation of oilfields and the development of mineral oil resources [4]. The rules under this act provide imprisonment for up to six months or a fine of up to INR1,000, or both for their contravention [3].

Environmental (Protection) Act 1986

According to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2006, all projects of oil and gas exploration, development and production come under category ‘A’ in the schedule and require prior environmental clearance from the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment and Forests [9]. The Act was amended in 1988 to conform closely to the provisions of the EPA, 1986 [7]. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) lays down standards for the prevention and control of water pollution, and at the State level, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) functions under the direction of the CPCB and the state government [7].

Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) Standards

The Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) has developed various standards to ensure safety, health, and environmental protection in the oil industry. These standards cover various aspects, including exploration and production (upstream) personnel, inspection and maintenance of insulation systems, compression, storage, handling and refuelling of natural gas (CNG) for use in the automotive sector, and more [1].

Other Regulations

Additionally, the Indian government has established regulations for boilers using agricultural waste as fuel and guidelines for pollution control in ginning mills [2]. Furthermore, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules prohibit the prospecting or mining of petroleum except in pursuance of a PEL or a PML granted under the PNG Rules [5].

The Role of Company Secretaries in Oil Industry Environmental Regulations

Company secretaries play an essential role in ensuring that oil and gas companies comply with environmental regulations. They need to have a clear understanding of the regulations, policies, and guidelines applicable to the oil industry in India. They also need to ensure that the company complies with these regulations and report any violations to the appropriate authorities [8].


The Indian government has established various environmental regulations to address the environmental impact of the oil industry. These regulations cover different aspects such as exploration and production, waste disposal, pollution control, and more. It is essential for oil and gas companies to comply with these regulations, and company secretaries play a vital role in ensuring compliance.

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