Great Eastern needs rig for CBM block in Tamil Nadu

Vol 16, PW 7 (18 Oct 12) Exploration & Production
     

Shocking news: a state government is not (repeat: not) delaying exploration work.

UK-listed Great Eastern Energy president and COO Prashant Modi says Tamil Nadu authorities are incredibly cooperative by granting clearances speedily at the company’s 766-sq km CBM-IV block MG-CBM-2008/4 or Mannargudi. Local officials, it seems, are beside themselves with excitement that this is the first CBM project in the state.

“Tamil Nadu is very supportive,” says Modi. “They are keen to get revenue from gas.

All we need now is ‘consent to establish’ (final go ahead from the state).” Great Eastern, adds Modi, also has environment ministry clearances in place and is preparing to hire a rig and services for a 50-corehole drilling campaign at Mannargudi, expected to begin by December.

Ideally, Great Eastern would like a single contractor for the entire assignment. “We want to work in the most economical way,” says Modi, the son of Great Eastern owner YK Modi.

“We want a small capacity rig and are planning tenders for testing, logging and other services.” When it won the block Great Eastern committed Rs100cr ($20m) to drill 50 core holes and 30 test wells in the five-year Phase-I that began in January 2011.

Modi tells us the company will take 15 days on average to drill each core hole to 600 metres. Analysts tell us Great Eastern can expect to spend between Rs32 lakh ($64,000) and Rs45 Lakh ($90,000) on each core hole, depending on depth.

Any CBM discovered at Mannargudi will be easy to evacuate, believes Modi. “There’s a GAIL gas pipeline running through our block,” he says.

“We can pay GAIL to transport gas to factories.”