Why BG wants to retain operatorship

Vol 6, PW 14 (11 Sep 02) Exploration & Production

IN HIS AUGUST letter to Shastri Bhawan, BG chief Nigel Shaw sets out a strong case for being allowed to retain operatorship atPanna-Mukta-Tapti.

Shaw draws attention to BG's "utmost diligence and care" in managing the field since it took over from Enron in January this year. Read below highlights.

A new daily record for Tapti gas production (217.4m cf/d on 7th April) and a new monthly record for Panna/Mukta gas production (98.2m cf/d in May) were set Implemented initiatives to reduce operating costs by around $2m on an annualised basis Initiated studies in reservoir engineering and well design. These are areas of potential technical improvements.

Once the recommendations of these studies come in and are implemented, significant cost reductions and production enhancements should be possible Equipment has been imported from Britain into Mumbai as part of efforts to transfer 'sub-surface' work to India. Indian staff are currently being trained to use this equipment.

BG has taken several steps for early implementation of field expansion projects to enable expansion of the Panna/Mukta field as well as maintain production from Tapti field after 2003 Discussions are on with GAIL and ONGC to firm up terms for gas sales and delivery of increased volumes BG repeats its "full commitment to working with the partners to arrive at an early resolution of the operatorship issue." BG adds it will be "happy at any time to meet the ministry to provide any further clarification." How does Shastri Bhawan see it "BG expects us to pick up the phone and tell Raha to give up his claim to operatorship," reveals a source. "The matter is not so simple now.

Things were different when ONGC was a Commission. Today it's a Corporation."