DGH approves BG's work programme for PMT

Vol 6, PW 4 (24 Apr 02) Exploration & Production

ARGUMENT MIGHT be continuing over who'll be operator at Panna, Mukta and Tapti but the hard fact is that British Gas Exploration & Production has seamlessly stepped into Enron's shoes and seems to be doing a pretty good job.

At least that's the view of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, if its approval of the Joint Venture's 2002-2003 Work Programme is anything to go by. BG submitted the Revised Work Programme and Budget 2002/2003 for Panna, Mukta and Tapti on 15th March.

It was approved by the DGH during a 26th March JV 'Management Committee' meeting, subject to BG providing a written breakdown of its directors' salaries, the cost of technical services and other "Expatriate Costs". BGEP managing director Cameron Crawford promptly sent off the required data with his own salary details the next day and a brief 'Thank You' note to DGH chief Avinash Chandra for his "expeditious review and approval." At Tapti BG has budgeted total expenditure of $42.3m in 2002-2003 and predicts global production of 66.8bn cubic feet (cf) gas and 789,000 barrels of condensate.

It has no drilling plans for FY 2002-2003 but for 2003-2004 it has budgeted $68.53m with expected production of 67.7bn cf, 708,000 barrels of condensate and is planning a six-month drilling campaign over the monsoon of 2003. "A single rig will be shared with the Panna-Mukta drilling programme." For contractors the big question is: will BG still be operator We should know soon.

On 6th May the partners are set to examine a draft Joint Operating Agreement.