ONGC prepares Andaman ultra deepwater well

Vol 15, PW 24 (14 Jun 12) Exploration & Production

Transocean-owned deepwater drillship DD-KG1 is sailing to an ultra deepwater location near the Andaman Islands.

PETROWATCH learns DD-KG1 - sub-let to ONGC by Reliance - left its earlier location in the Mahanadi basin in the evening of June 11 after ‘plugging and abandoning’ exploration well MDW-13 at the 11,390-sq km NELP-IV block MN-DWN-2002/2. ONGC (90%) tells us it has no well commitment and only a seismic commitment under the Minimum Work Programme for the 11,837-sq km Andaman block AN-DWN-2005/1, which it shares with Oil India (10%), but has decided to drill a well nonetheless.

“The well will be drilled to around 4000 metres TD,” reports a source, “and should take around one month to drill.” ONGC has 10 NELP blocks in the Andaman region and has previously drilled exploration wells in water depths of between 1400 to 1900 metres.

Last week, Vantage Drilling-owned and operated drillship Platinum Explorer began drilling an appraisal well at ONGC-operated gas discovery block MN-OSN-2000/2. “Platinum is drilling in 890 metres water depths,” we hear.

“The well will be drilled to 3200 metres and take up to one month to complete.” ONGC has established 56.883bn cubic metres of gas reserves at this block and plans to drill three appraisal wells.

Operator ONGC (40%) shares MN-OSN-2000/2 with IndianOil, GAIL and Oil India, each with 20%. On May 18, Noble Drilling-owned semi-submersible Noble Duchess began her three-year contract with ONGC by re-entering an exploration well drilled earlier and abandoned by ONGC-owned Sagar Vijay in 250 metres water depths at a pre-NELP east coast concession.

This week ONGC lowered a 20-inch casing and ‘latched’ the BoP. Duchess is expected to remain on location for another month.