Nothing wrong with India's recycled acreage, says BP

Vol 12, PW 17 (29 Jan 09) People & Policy

Global major BP has a keen eye on India’s eastern and western offshore but is in no hurry to acquire oil and gas assets in areas it compares to the prolific North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

“Being a late entrant to India we are at a disadvantage,â€‌ admits a senior BP source. “But we still see significant potential on the eastern and western offshore.

â€‌ Much of BP’s confidence rests on interpretation of a 12,000-km multi client 2D speculative seismic survey of India’s east and west coasts carried out by Houston-based GX Technologies in mid-2006, where BP participated financially. BP also cites its financial stability in the face of lower oil prices.

This opens up the possibility that earlier expensive bids and extensive work commitments on blocks in India will force less capitalised firms to bow out. “Other than the KG Basin, the Bay of Bengal (in which the KG Basin lies) is under-explored with only around 30 wells drilled,â€‌ we are told.

“This area is as large as the Gulf of Mexico where thousands of wells have been drilled.â€‌ BP says it will examine oil and gas blocks offered in future NELP rounds for relinquished acreage from previous rounds.

Most oil majors have been staying away from NELP rounds, complaining that most of the blocks on offer are simply those ONGC doesn’t want anymore. But BP believes recycled blocks hold out promise.

“Relinquished acreage from NELP-I, II and III will be available in the next two to three years and we can wait,â€‌ adds BP. “We don’t see anything wrong in recycled acreage.

You get recycled acreage all over the world. It is a game of patience combined with data already with us on which basins hold promise.

â€‌ BP points to continued exploration in the North Sea. “In the North Sea it is almost impossible to carve out new acreage or draw a map without a drilled well already in it,â€‌ he says.

“But companies continue to explore the North Sea for deeper prospects.â€‌