Assam Company finally wins control of Amguri

Vol 16, PW 13 (24 Jan 13) Exploration & Production

Hopes are alive production might soon be revived at the Amguri oil and gasfield in Assam.

PETROWATCH learns the oil ministry has transferred operatorship of the 52.75-sq km pre-NELP field, previously held by Calgary-based Canoro Resources, to Assam Company, which holds 40%. Oil ministry officials wrote to the DGH on January 2, confirming the transfer, with copies to Assam Company and ONGC, which holds the 60% earlier held by Canoro.

A ministry official says the Delhi High Court has yet to decide if this 60% should also go to Assam Company. When contacted, Assam Company says it is yet to receive ministry confirmation.

“We are ready to hire a rig to revive production,” confirms a source. “But I can’t say more as we’ve heard nothing from the ministry.

If I tell you something it might send the wrong signal; we can’t issue tenders without ministry confirmation.” Canoro was stripped of the Amguri operator role on August 27, 2010 after misleading the oil ministry over its takeover by Hong Kong-headquartered Mass Financial.

ONGC was directed to become operator after the Delhi High Court rejected Canoro’s plea to retain the role on March 7, 2011. Assam Company believes it should get the 60% held by ONGC.

“A PSC is signed by a consortium,” adds Assam Company. “The consortium was Canoro and Assam Company.

When Canoro’s contract was terminated their stake should have come to us.” Amguri was producing 15,000 boe/d from three wells until production stopped on December 3, 2010, and 44,000 cm/d from well Amguri 14 until it collapsed a year later.