ONGC plans Tripura drilling for gas to Palatana

Vol 16, PW 5 (20 Sep 12) Exploration & Production

ONGC is planning an impressive drilling programme to ensure long-term gas supplies for its upcoming 726.6-MW Palatana gas-fired power station in hilly Tripura.

PETROWATCH learns ONGC aims to drill 18 exploration and development wells by March 31, 2013 at its Tripura asset, which is already producing 1.8m cm/d of gas from the Agartala Dome, Baramura, Manikyanagar and Konaban fields. Another 20 exploration and development wells are planned by March 2014.

ONGC will use three 2000-hp Shiv Vani rigs and two 1400-hp rigs already in Tripura and expects to invite bids to hire two additional 2000-hp land rigs in the next two months. “We are preparing a production profile for established wells that will supply gas to Palatana,” says ONGC, “Exactly how many wells to be drilled will be decided this month.

” ONGC, he adds, forecasts it can supply up to 2.5m cm/d to Palatana for six years. “More wells will be drilled simultaneously to build reserves,” he adds.

ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) is expected to commission the first 363.3-MW phase of the delayed Palatana station on September 30. Palatana will initially generate 25 to 30-MW, increasing to 40 to 50-MW, where it will be stabilised and synchronised before OTPC adds more turbines.

“Commissioning of Phase-I,” we hear, “should be done by October.” OTPC expects to commission the second 363.3-MW phase by March 31 next year.

EPC contractor BHEL, hired in 2008, is carrying out final piping, instrumentation and civil work and checking equipment in the run up. ONGC chairman Subir Raha first proposed the Palatana station in 2002-03 to commercialise gas from landlocked Tripura, surrounded on three sides by Bangladesh.

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