PY-1 development drilling scheduled to begin in June

Vol 9, PW 21 (09 Feb 06) Exploration & Production

First development drilling at the PY-1 gasfield offshore Chennai is scheduled to begin in June this year.

PETROWATCH learns operator Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, which is 26% owned by Burren Energy of the UK, expects the Aban-VII (earlier known as Rowan Texas) jack-up from Chennai-based Aban Loyd Chiles to arrive on location in May to begin a three-well development programme following its refit at a Houston shipyard. The rig has been satisfactorily upgraded, reveals a source.

HOEC has hired Aban-VII for a drilling programme of two firm and two optional wells at PY-1 and 3705-sq km exploration block CY-OSN-97/1 further down the coast, where HOEC holds 80% and Mosbacher of the US holds 20%. HOEC will first drill an exploration well to a target depth of 1800 metres on the Vinayaka-1 prospect at CY-OSN-97/1 and then move the rig back up to PY-1 to begin the development programme, by which time it hopes to have signed a gas sales agreement with PPN Power of Tamil Nadu.

PY-1 sits in 75 metres water depth 18-km off the coast of Tamil Nadu. In January last year, the DGH approved a $137m revised plan of development for three wells, an offshore platform with gas processing facilities and 55-km of subsea pipeline to shore.

Under the development plan, HOEC will lay a 56-km pipeline to landfall and set up onshore and offshore facilities. Worley is carrying out detailed engineering for the pipeline and Technip is responsible for engineering of onshore facilities.

Thai Nippon Steel is carrying out detailed engineering for the offshore facility. PY-1 is a pre-Cambrian syenite reservoir, with a seal of Cretaceous and Eocene-era shales and sits on the crest of a basement ridge.

Current estimates are that the core area of the field holds about 150bn cubic feet gas reserves with upside of between 50bn and 100bn cubic feet. Basement gas reserves are also expected outside the core area.

PY-1 could also hold tertiary reserves of about 8bn cubic feet seen in test results from well PY-1-8. Prospects yet to be drilled and tested could hold more gas or even crude oil.

HOEC expects to flow first gas at a rate of 45m cf/d (1.3m cm/d) rising to 52m cf/d (1.49m cm/d).