GAIL forges ahead despite partner Bengal Energy

Vol 15, PW 22 (17 May 12) Exploration & Production

Operator GAIL is forging ahead with exploration at its 946-sq km NELP-VII onland Cauvery basin block CY-ONN-2005/1 in Tamil Nadu despite reluctance from its Toronto-listed partner Bengal Energy.

Next month (June) GAIL will tender for interpretation of 500-sq km 3D and 75-sq km of high resolution 3D shot by Russian contractor Saratoneftgeofizyka. “So far they (Saratoneftgeofizyka) have shot 330-sq km of the 500-sq km contract (awarded in September 2011),” confirms GAIL.

“Shooting began last December and should finish in July. The 75-sq km high resolution 3D survey should be finished in August.

” Data processing will take another two months until October but GAIL hopes to award the interpretation contract by August. A GAIL in-house team is currently interpreting a 2000-lkm airborne magnetic data carried out in January by Australian company UTS Geophysics.

UTS won the $257,613 job against Fugro Airborne Surveys, which ranked second quoting $372,214.57. In July GAIL is also expected to tender for a Project Management Consultant (PMC) to manage the drilling of three Phase-I committed wells.

“The PMC will help us prepare tenders to hire a rig and allied services as well as evaluate bids for consumables like drill pipes and drill bits, and long-lead items like casing.” GAIL wants a 1500-hp onland rig to mobilise by the second quarter of 2013-2014 to drill the three planned wells to depths ranging from 1200 metres to 2500 metres.

GAIL (40%) shares CY-ONN-2005/1 with GSPC and Bengal Energy, who each hold 30%. Signed on December 22, 2008, the PSC kicked in only two years later when Tamil Nadu authorities granted a PEL.

Phase-I commits GAIL to shoot 500-sq km 3D, 75-sq km high resolution 3D, 2000-lkm airborne magnetic survey and drill three wells.