Deepwater disappointment offshore Goa

Vol 4, PW 4 (29 Mar 00) Exploration & Production

There's deep disappointment at ONGC over initial results emerging from a deepwater well drilled in the Kerala Konkan basin offshore Goa.

"We haven't got what we are looking for," a senior ONGC source tells Petrowatch, "We are testing three or four zones around 2,000 metres. The preliminary findings show that there are some gas pockets, but with doubtful economic viability." A second source confirms to Petrowatch that ONGC's Sedco Forex operated Sagar Vijay drillship reached target depth of 4,200 metres on 10th March.

Drilling at the well (KK-DW-1/A) is now over. Schlumberger is carrying out the production testing of the well.

"We are testing systematically from the bottom up", a source tells Petrowatch, "We want to eliminate all the possibilities so we don't have to return here again." It is understood that Sagar Vijay will remain at the Goa location for another month during production testing before heading for dry dock at the Cochin shipyard where it will undergo routine maintenance and "certification". From Cochin, the Sagar Vijay - ONGC's sole deepwater drillship - will head for the east coast of India.

"ONGC is busy working out a location", learns Petrowatch, "It has to be done with the monsoon in mind." A source at ONGC suggests the next drilling location will be in the Cauvery basin sometime in May. Cauvery basin, offshore Tamil Nadu, sits south of the Krishna Godavari, and is the site of an earlier dry deepwater well drilled by ONGC.

Plans for the Sagar Vijay to go to the Andamans, on behalf of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, are still on hold.