No good news from Sagar Vijay or Belford Dolphin

Vol 9, PW 5 (16 Jun 05) Exploration & Production

Little good news is reported from the fourth deepwater well being drilled by ONGCs own drillship Sagar Vijay.

All drilling activity by Sagar Vijay was suspended for a fortnight in late May because the ships air conditioning system collapsed making it impossible for crew to work on board. Sagar Vijay is sitting in some 500 metres water depth and is aiming at a target depth of 3300 metres.

After the air conditioning system was repaired in early June, Sagar Vijay resumed drilling the S profile well. Sagar Vijay has another 300 metres to drill, we are told.

Before the air conditioning collapsed, ONGC had to deal with a string getting stuck while controlling a kick. The string was cut and the well was sidetracked.

Last week Sagar Vijay began drilling a 6-inch slim hole to target. This is a very complicated process, said a source.

The small bit size could cause problems. Expectations are that target depth will be reached in two weeks.

Logs from this fourth Sagar Vijay well had gas shows at different levels. Meanwhile, deepwater drillship Belford Dolphin spud her 10th deepwater well for ONGC on 3rd June at location GRK-1 on eastern offshore NELP-I block KG-DWN-98/4.

GRK-1 is Belfords first well on this block and her second on the eastern offshore. At GRK-1 Belford is sitting in 2650 metres water depth and has been assigned a target depth of 6000 metres.

A 20-inch casing was lowered on 10th June. ONGC has settled in for a 90-day drilling programme at this location.

The biggest problem here we learn is high pressure and the prevalence of younger, unconsolidated sediments. If the leak-off is good ONGC will have a lot of play, we are told.

If the leak-off is poor, more casings will be needed and therell be more mud loss. After Belford finishes this well she will go north, to the Mahanadi basin to drill one exploratory well at NELP-I block MN-OSN-97/3 where GAIL (15%) and ONGC (85% and operator) are partners.

After the Mahanadi well, Belford will go to block KG-DWN-98/2 to drill at the M prospect discovered by Cairn Energy in 2001.

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