Cairn promises $250m spend at Rajasthan block

Vol 16, PW 2 (09 Aug 12) Exploration & Production

Cairn India chairman Anil Agarwal wants to spend up to $250m over four years on a massive exploration and development programme in Rajasthan.

Agarwal is determined to boost oil production from 175,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d or 15.3m t/y by 2015-16 at Cairn’s pre-NELP onland Rajasthan block RJ-ON-90/1. Cairn plans to do this by drilling up to 90 new wells in total, both exploration and appraisal.

Outgoing company CEO Rahul Dhir met oil secretary Girish Chaturvedi in July for his support and Cairn subsequently wrote to the DGH on July 25 to request a block Management Committee (MC) meeting. India is desperate to reduce its dependence on foreign oil imports so expect the MC to back the idea, even though the seven-year exploration period ended on November 6, 2007.

Once approved, Cairn plans to spend $50m to shoot 1200-sq km 3D to identify new leads. Around $60m has been set aside to drill 20 exploration wells and $24m to drill eight appraisal wells at discovery areas.

Another $25m has been set aside for technical studies and seismic data processing and interpretation. Cairn will study 23 undeveloped discoveries before deciding where to begin drilling the appraisal wells.

Four of these discoveries were made during the exploration phase: Vijaya and Vandana in the Barmer Hill reservoir; N-R-4 also in Barmer Hill; Kameshwari in the Fatehgarh reservoir; and Guda-GRF in the Thumbli and Dharvi Dungar reservoir. All the others were made during the development phase and include eight never tested: Bhagyam BH, Aishwarya BH, V2Y 2120 and NR-3 2100m in Barmer Hill; Saraswati-2 and Tukaram PAT Deep in Fatehgarh; Tukaram SE in Thumbli; and Mangala DD in Dharvi Dungar.