No drilling at Oil India KG block till next year

Vol 13, PW 26 (17 Jun 10) Exploration & Production

Equally promising, Oil India has put back till early next year (2011) its drilling programme at KG onshore block KG-ONN-2004/1.

“Earlier plans were to drill at least three wells this year before shooting seismic,” reports a source. “But now Oil India will see the 3D before drilling.

” In February, Kazakh contractor KCS began a 400-sq km 3D survey across the 549-sq km block, part of which falls in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary. “None of the prospective areas fall within the sanctuary,” we hear.

“But Oil India has anyway applied for permission with the environment and forests ministry.” By May 18, KCS had shot 141-sq km before suspending work because of the early onset of monsoon rains.

Shooting will resume after August when the monsoon ends. Logistically challenging, this block received maximum attention during NELP-VI, with eight consortia bidding.

This is hardly surprising, as GSPC’s Deen Dayal field sits due east; Cairn-operated Ravva sits south-east; and ONGC producing gasfields Mandapeta, Pasarlapudi and Tatipaka are to the west. Next month (July) four engineering consultants shortlisted to oversee the four-year 12-well Phase-I commitment will submit price bids.

Up to 15 companies responded to Oil India’s original EoI for this job. “None of those short-listed are Indian companies,” we hear.

“Our selection criteria were very strict. Any winner needs 25 years experience and must have worked on at least two HP/HT (High Pressure/High Temperature) projects.

” When selected, the winning contractor will draw up specs for a tender to hire one or possibly two rigs with minimum 2000-hp strength. Drilling will be in the southern portion of the block, with the maiden well drilled to at least 5500 metres to Lower Cretaceous formations – on the same fault line as Deen Dayal.