Expect interest in NELP-VI block NEC-DWN-2004/2

Vol 10, PW 2 (18 May 06) Exploration & Production

Bidders looking offshore are likely to be drawn to Mahanadi basin block NEC-DWN-2004/2.

This 8706-sq km block lies in water depths of between 400 metres to 1000 metres. This is a freshly carved out block with no previous well history.

Geologically it is an extension of the Reliance-Niko block NEC-25 where major gas discoveries have been reported. This block lies in the Bengal delta and is aligned with the western rising part of Bangladeshs Patuakhall depression, which has the Cairn-operated Sangu gasfield in the eastern part.

Not only is the block totally new, it has not been covered by seismic. The prospectivity of this block is assumed only from extrapolation of the surroundings.

Also of interest could be shallow water KG basin block KG-OSN-2004/1. This is the relinquished northern portion of ONGC-Cairn Energy block KG-DWN-98/2.

Water depths are less than 100 metres and approximately 10 wells have been drilled in the western part, which has been covered by 2D. One of these wells showed oil.

Two wells were drilled previously in the eastern 3D seismic area of the block but showed nothing. The main thing about this block is that it lies in the vicinity of KG-DWN-98/2, which has reported discoveries.

Attention could also be expected in four KG deepwater blocks: KG-DWN-2004/1, 2, 4 and 5. All of them look like an extension of the delta discovered by exploration work on KG-DWN-98/2 and KG-DWN-98/3.

The downside is that these blocks lie in more than 3000 metres water depth with no seismic. Any estimate of prospectivity will be purely on extrapolation from the neighbouring blocks.

Expect also some interest in offshore Mumbai blocks MB-OSN-2004/1 (area: 1520-sq km) and MB-OSN-2004/2 (area: 741-sq km). MB-OSN-2004/1 lies in the Saurashtra offshore, northwest of the mid-Tapti fields.

MB-OSN-2004/2 lies to the southwest of Neelam field and in the vicinity of ONGCs C-series as well as the north Tapti field. The likelihood here is of finding gas in stratigraphic wedge-cum-pinchout prospects.