On track at ONGC to drill 77 Jharia CBM wells

Vol 19, PW 25 (25 Aug 16) Exploration & Production

Everything looks on track for ONGC to begin drilling 77 development and production wells at its Jharia CBM block in Jharkhand by the first quarter of calendar year 2017, despite the ever present threat of Maoist combatants.

A senior ONGC source tells this report its application for environment ministry clearance was accepted on July 31 and should be confirmed by late October paving the way for Phase-III drilling to begin. ONGC estimates it will cost Rs1136cr ($172m) to drill 77 wells to around 1200 metres; install five Gas Collecting Stations (GCS); and lay a 4-inch diameter inter-connecting pipeline network.

Target: to produce 250,000 cm/d of CBM gas at the 84.55-sq km block which straddles Bokaro and Dhanbad districts. In India the newly-created state of Jharkhand is best known as a hotbed of Maoist insurgency mainly because much of the local population lives in abject poverty despite abundant natural resources.

But ONGC is putting on a brave face as it finalises the drilling sites after which it will acquire 209 acres of land from local farmers. "We will also be coming out with rig hire tenders," adds an ONGC source.

He confirms the pipeline network will be laid within the RoU acquired for access roads and highways. "However we still need permission again from landowners and local government agencies," he says.