Georgia drilling programme ahead for Jindal

Vol 15, PW 10 (17 Nov 11) Exploration & Production

Delhi-based Jindal Petroleum is gearing up to begin drilling in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where it has four exploration blocks and one producing field.

PETROWATCH learns Jindal is expected to hire a rig within the next 15 days to begin drilling nine wells in Georgia from February 2012. Jindal, says an industry source, wants to drill two ‘vertical exploratory wells’, each to 3000 metres TD, and five ‘directional wells’ at its 660-sq km producing block 11B, near the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

It also wants to drill two more vertical exploratory wells, one each at its 3872-sq km block 9 and 5880-sq km block 10, both on the Russian border. Jindal plans to spud the first well in February at block 11B, which it is expected to complete by April.

Jindal then wants to move the rig to drill and complete the planned wells at block 9 and block 10, before returning it to 11B for the remaining wells there. Jindal was originally hoping to begin its proposed Georgian drilling programme this year, but could not decide whether it was more economical to hire or buy a rig which can drill to a maximum depth of 3000 metres.

Jindal even floated an unsuccessful tender in February last year to buy such a rig. Convinced that hiring was the better option, Jindal floated a tender on July 1 this year and received bids from four Indian drilling contractors and six foreign drillers.

Their names are unavailable, but a source close to Jindal confirms the contract will be awarded soon. Jindal is confident it can complete its drilling programme at block 11B by the end of 2012 in line with its commitments under the Minimum Work Programme.

Jindal operates 11B with a 75% stake and partners fellow Delhi-based explorer EnSearch Petroleum with 25%.

LNG Summit