Deepwater tender likely to happen at the end of May

Vol 9, PW 1 (20 Apr 05) Exploration & Production

If everything goes to plan, and ONGC comes to agreement with its would-be partner, the deepwater tender could be issued sooner than expected.

We would like to issue the tender by the end of May, says an ONGC source. For now theres no hard and fast internal time frame.

These five pre-NELP nomination blocks are being auctioned alongside 20 exploration blocks under the NELP-V licensing round. Interesting to note is that Total is not interested even though two years ago it came close to signing a MoU with ONGC to jointly develop these deepwater blocks.

ONGC has been looking for a partner for these blocks since the late 1990s. Total, Mobil, Shell, Elf, Petropars and Statoil were at one time keen but backed out over the non-availability of NELP financial and tax terms and other delays.

Two years ago the oil ministry finally conceded ONGCs request that these five blocks should also benefit from attractive NELP terms. Three of the blocks are in the Krishna Godavari basin, one is in the Kutch offshore and another is in the Kerala-Konkan offshore.

Water depths range from 400 metres to 3000 metres. See below: Block Basin Area (Sq km) Block Summary GK-DW-1 Kutch 16,558 ONGC has acquired 2028-line km 2D and 5968-sq km 3D seismic data.

One exploratory well - GKDW-1A was then drilled. In September 2004, 25% of the block was relinquished and a PEL re-grant for five years (4+1) has been requested from the oil ministry.

The work programme commitment for the current cycle is 500-sq km 3D seismic and two exploratory wells. One exploratory well (KS-1-1) has been drilled in water depth of 2035m.

KK Kerala Konkan 238 ONGC has acquired 500-sq km 3D seismic. In April 2000, it obtained a re-grant for 239-sq km for a five-year period (4+1).

The work programme commitment: one well - KKD-1 was drilled in water depth of 1054m. KG-OS-DW Krishna Godavari 1105 ONGC has acquired 950-line km 2D seismic and 270-sq km 3D seismic data.

PEL was re-granted for a five-year period (4+1). In the second phase ONGC acquired 800-sq km 3D seismic against a commitment of 560-sq km and drilled four wells against the commitment of three.

Gas was struck in the first well KD-1-1, in Miocene sands. The PEL was scheduled to expire on 1st March 2005 with a provision of a two-year extension for lead perusal of a maximum of 50% area.

KG-OS-DW extension Krishna Godavari 787 ONGC acquired 440-sq km 3D seismic data. The PEL went into the re-grant cycle of five years (4+1) from 15th May 2003 with an area of 787-sq km.

Under the current cycle, ONGC has acquired 369-sq km 3D seismic and drilled one well (KD-3-1) as against the commitment of 150-sq km 3D seismic. KG-OS-DW-III Krishna Godavari 1198 ONGC acquired 1022-sq km 3D seismic data against the commitment of 200-sq km and one well.

Two wells were drilled in the block. First well GD-1-1 drilled in water depth of 670m was a gas find in Pliocene sands.

A re-grant was obtained for a five-year period from 15th May 2003 for an area of 1200-sq km. Against the commitment of drilling two wells; ONGC has acquired 303-sq km 3D seismic and drilled four wells.