Oil India to drill three wells at 'Shakti' in Gabon

Vol 16, PW 3 (23 Aug 12) People & Policy

Oil India is poised to begin a three-well exploration programme at its promising Shakti block in Gabon - sub-Saharan Africa’s sixth largest oil producer after Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo.

PETROWATCH learns Oil India director exploration BN Talukdar left Delhi on August 19 for a five-day visit to Libreville, capital of the West African nation, to brief the country’s upstream regulators ahead of the imminent drilling programme. Oil India has hired a 1500-hp Le Tourneau rig from Punj Lloyd for the two ‘firm’ and one ‘optional’ well campaign, with drilling of the first well scheduled to begin in early September.

Mobilised by sea from Libya, Punj tells this report the AC-VFD rig P-127 is reaching Libreville port this week. “After that it should take one week to reach the block,” says Punj.

“Once there it won’t take more than 7-8 days to ‘rig up’; the rig is already in working order.” Punj won’t say how much Oil India has agreed to pay for the high-spec Le Tourneau rig except that it is a ‘semi-integrated’ contract with coring, directional drilling and other services bundled in.

Libya’s state-owned Waha was paying around $30,000/day. “In all likelihood the rig will return to Libya after this assignment,” adds Punj, “Unless we get another contract in Gabon.

” Oil India has given Punj a 150 day target to drill two ‘firm’ wells, each to TD of 3460 metres to the N’Dombo and Fourou Plage sandstone formations. “This block is logistically challenging” adds Oil India.

“The terrain is covered with thick forests and there are no approach roads.” Operator Oil India (45%) and Indian Oil (45%) ‘farmed in’ to the 3761-sq km Shakti block in April 2006 by acquiring 90% from Marvis Pte of Singapore.

Marvis continues to hold the remaining 10%.