Delay in ministry holds up work at discovered fields

Vol 5, PW 8 (06 Jun 01) Exploration & Production

If only the pen pushers in the oil ministry moved faster.

This story is about delay in the constitution of management committees for nine PSCs for discovered fields signed on February 23rd this year - after an agonising wait of seven years. "We wrote to the ministry on February 28th with a request to set up the management committee," reveals one of the operators.

"We have followed up with telephone calls several times, but there has been no response. We are ready with our representatives and are waiting for the ministry to nominate its two representatives on the committee." One such frustrated operator is Mumbai-based Hydrocarbon Resources.

Hydrocarbon is operator of the two-well onshore Sanganpur field in Gujarat in an alliance with Hardy Exploration & Production of the UK. Hydrocarbon wanted to begin producing oil and gas from September this year.

A mining lease from the Gujarat government is expected by mid-June and so is the environmental clearance. Early next month should see the mobilisation of a rig as part of a 45-day, two-workover programme.

But without a management committee, the operators cannot begin work. Sanganpur is a tiny field, with expected production of only 200 barrels per day of API gravity 34, piped to the IOC pipeline via ONGC's group gathering station at Sobhasan.