Reliance gets 12-month extension for GK-OS-5

Vol 6, PW 15 (25 Sep 02) Exploration & Production

ALSO IN AUGUST, the oil ministry sanctioned a Reliance application for a one-year extension of 'Phase-II' to June 2003 for its Gujarat offshore block GK-OS-5.

Reliance needs the extra time because it wants to hire Veritas to reprocess old ONGC seismic and integrate the results with its adjoining block SR-OS-94/1. The minimum work programme for 'Phase-II' assumes an 'optional' 300-km extra 2D, an 'optional' 200-sq km 3D and one exploration well.

Under the original work programme the two-year 'Phase-II' should have ended in July this year after a 20-month extension but Reliance estimates it needs eight more months to reprocess, interpret and integrate the seismic and another four months to release a drilling location and drill the well, which it expects to do mid-2003. A decision to proceed with the three-year 'Phase-III' programme - four exploratory wells 1,500 metres depth each - depends on the result of this well.

During the two-year 'Phase-I', former operator Tullow Oil shot and processed 594-km 2D. Results were "encouraging" and prompted the decision to proceed with 'Phase-II'.

Encouraged, the oil ministry had no difficulty agreeing to the request for a 12-month extension because the block is geologically challenging and in difficult terrain. "Data processing techniques have yielded poor imaging because there is a thick layer of basalt (rock) above the prospective sediments," reveals a source.

"Advanced processing techniques have led to much better imaging."