Waiting for 'Laxmi' to come in

Vol 4, PW 13 (02 Aug 00) Exploration & Production

It's a measure of the confidence that Cairn Energy has for its May 15th gas find in Gujarat that it has decided to name the well after 'Laxmi' - the Hindu goddess of wealth.

In an interview with Petrowatch, Cairn managing director Bill Gammell confirms that first gas to market from 'Laxmi' will flow by first quarter 2002. "We told the state authorities that we have a certain amount of gas that we are going to develop quickly and market quickly," Gammell tells this report, "We had good results from 'Laxmi' but we need to drill appraisal wells to discover how good they really are." Gammell said by 2002 'Laxmi' would produce a minimum of 70m cubic feet a day (cf/d).

"That figure could go up to 140m cf/d but we won't know until the end of this year. It depends on the success of our appraisal programme." In the weeks ahead Cairn's discovered structure will witness intense activity, with three or four exploration wells, then two appraisal wells.

"The wells will be 20 days or less," adds Gammell, "We'll have a lot of activity and a lot of results very quickly." Gammell said by next March ("having gone through an aggressive exploration and appraisal programme") Cairn will have a better idea if the block can produce 500m cf/d or more. "We have always said that there may be the potential to have 2 trillion cubic feet reserves in this block," said Gammell, "If you have that number then you can produce 500m cf/d." But he cautions: "To do anything near 500m cf/d you have to drill a number of other prospects which will all have to come in." On one key point, Cairn remains undecided: a landfall point.

Said Gammell: "We haven't decided yet. We first need to know where our buyers are."