Andaman PSCs will reflect special status of Islands

Vol 8, PW 20 (12 Jan 05) Exploration & Production

Be prepared if you bid for two deepwater exploration blocks in the tsunami-hit Andaman and Nicobar Islands under NELP-V.

Production sharing contracts for AN-DWN-2003/1 and AN-DWN-2003/2 in the Bay of Bengal will contain some unique provisions to reflect the areas sensitive status as an area for Indian space research and its location on the maritime boundary with Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. One important provision centres on any future discovery.

India is legally bound to inform its neighbours if the extended portion of a discovered oil or gas structure is found to extend across the boundary line. The two governments shall communicate with each other all the information and shall seek to reach agreement in which the structure, field or deposit could be exploited and its benefits equitably shared, reveals a government paper.

Secondly, the operator must provide details of survey or drilling plans six months in advance to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. In turn the DGH must coordinate with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Department of Space.

The DGH will also interface between the operators activities and ISRO or DOS over their space programme in the rocket stage impact zone, it adds. Rockets fired from the ISRO space centre at Sriharikota on the Andhra Pradesh coast regularly land in the vicinity of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Nor will the operator be allowed to install permanent structures between 104-106 degree azimuths as specified by ISRO or DOS. Once the operator begins commercial production, he can only lay a seabed pipeline for gas or a Floating Production, Storage and Offshore facility for oil.

Warns the paper: The contractor shall implement the latest technologies to dismantle the FPSO at short notice and move out of the declared danger zone before launch (of a satellite).