Only 300 metres more to go at OVL's fourth Farsi well

Vol 10, PW 22 (08 Mar 07) Exploration & Production

ONGC Videsh is just 300 metres away from TD of 3400 metres at its fourth and last well at Iran’s shallow water offshore Farsi block.

Drilling this last section is proving to be excruciatingly slow. An industry source tells us OVL is drilling only 20 to 25 metres a day, half of what it would like to.

“The formation is very, very hard,â€‌ we are told. Compounding the problem is “a lot of mud loss and well activity.

â€‌ OVL has had “three or four minor gas kicks and one water kick as wellâ€‌ during drilling. Because of this, “it is frustratingly slow.

â€‌ A source describes drilling as, “some mud loss followed by some kicks and so on.â€‌ The main pay zone is expected to be around 3200 and 3250 metres.

“OVL expects the pay zone to be at least 35 metres thick,â€‌ adds a source. “They are hoping for oil as the drilling is now down dip but they are not expecting oil.

â€‌ Plans are to drill an 8.5-inch hole down to TD of 3400 metres and insert a 7-inch liner. OVL is encountering high pressures of between 7000 and 8000-psi at the bottom hole and is using 16-ppg mud.

“Pressure at the surface is slightly more,â€‌ we hear. “Gas expands as it comes out.

â€‌ OVL plans to carry out Drill Stem Tests when it reaches TD. “The number of objects to be tested is yet to be decided,â€‌ we hear.

“If there are time constraints OVL might carry out Modular Dynamic Tests instead of DSTs.â€‌ Working in Iran is challenging for OVL because of US sanctions.

“OVL is finding it difficult to get proper drilling bits and equipment on time,â€‌ we learn. “All the bits and equipment are from the US but they have to be third party sales to beat sanctions,â€‌ he adds.

“Organising this system takes time and adds to delays.â€‌