Bengal basin

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Bengal Basin Map[1]


There are various types of basins throughout the world and each of them are unique in their own way. Bengal Basin being among them is an interesting basin to learn about. The Bengal Basin is located in the northeastern part of the Indian Penninsula and is in the state of West Bengal. The basin is an abundant petroleum basin and is a essential energy source for the Indian population.[2]

Fundamental History


The environment around a basin forms the amount of potential energy it has. The Bengal Basin is located in a plains environment.[3] The basin used to be filled with biodiversity and was called a Bengalian Rainforest. It had animals such as tigers, elephants, deer, and wild buffalos. Though this doesn't exist anymore it shows the potential of what is beneath the area for a possible reservoir.[1]

Tectonic Formation

Tectonic formation in each basin is drastically different than each other and they are crucial to the drilling and potential of energy in the location. The tectonic formation of Bengal basin is related to a collision pattern of the Eurasian and Burmese plates.[4] The main tectonic and structural zones inside the Bengal Basin are the Basin Margin Fault Zone, Shelf Zone, Hinge Zone, and Deep Basin.[2]

Geological Structures

Seals and Traps

Anticline Example[5]

Being close to the Himalayas, the Bengal Basin consists mostly of traps anticlines.This occurs because of the constant collisions from the Eurasian and Burmese plates. A example of a anticline can be seen on the right to see how they are formed and displayed.[6] Even though most of the traps are anticlines, there is a portion of traps that are called structural, and stratigraphic. With the location being near ocean, the seal in the basin primarily consists of oceanic shales and have a low permeability, so it will be tough to get into.[2]

Source Rock and Migration

The Bengal Basin went through various changes, it sustained changes like syn-rifting, post-rifting, and foredeep episodes that made it into an abundant reservoir we have today. The hydrocarbons in the basin, which are primarily consists of anticlines, are pushed up so the extraction of the hydrocarbons is less difficult. The two crucial source rocks in the Bengal Basin are known as Oligocene Jenam and Miocene Bhuban shales.[2]

Risk vs Benefit

Geological Risks

The main geological risk to the Bengal Basin is earthquakes since it is between two crusts moving towards each other. The basin has three records of earthquakes which were called the West Bengal, Srimangal, and Mymensingh earthquakes.With the huge earthquake risk, fracking around this area will cause more chance of profit loss. Due to its location, the basin is continuously being affected by natural weather and it can cost substantial amount of money to maintain.[7]

Indian Oil Consumption[8]

General Information

The Bengal Basin is one of the eight crucial basins for energy source in India, With the potential of this basin seen plain as day, a company named Oil and Natural Gas Corportaion (ONGC) is exploring more into the basin with its costs estimated to be around Rs 3,361 crore.[9]

Future Potential

Bengal Basin contains about 190 MMt oil and gas before even fully exploring the basin.[2] The basin contains high volume of sediments from Cretaceous to Recent age. It also has around 4000 to 5000m thickness of Neogene deposits.[10] There are still parts of the basin left unexplored and could have possible Coal bed methane, Thin bed reservoirs, Biogenenic Gas, Shale gas, and Tight gas reservoirs.[11] As you can see the graph to the left, the demand of energy in India is increasing drastically mainly due to modernization and population increase. With the current demand increase, this basin will outweigh the risks by a substantial margin and make this basin a crucial source of energy for the whole country.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bengal Basin - Banglapedia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Bengal | NDR (National Data Repository)-Directorate General of Hydrocarbons(DGH) | Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India (
  3. Bengal Basin, India -
  4. Tectonic Setting of Bengal Basin (
  6. Hydrocarbon distribution and major controlling factors of Bengal Basin, Bangladesh (
  9. ONGC opens 8th hydrocarbon producing basin of India- The New Indian Express
  10. Depositional and diagenetic controls on reservoir heterogeneity and quality of the Bhuban formation, Neogene Surma Group, Srikail Gas Field, Bengal Basin, Bangladesh - ScienceDirect
  11. Unconventional petroleum resource potentiality in the bengal basin (

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