High hopes for Khubal in Tripura at ONGC

Vol 17, PW 3 (05 Sep 13) Exploration & Production

ONGC wants to unlock the full potential of its onshore Khubal gas discovery in landlocked Tripura by pursuing an aggressive appraisal drilling programme.

PETROWATCH learns ONGC is currently drilling three appraisal wells at Khubal in NELP-III block AA-ONN-2001/1 using two of its own 1400-hp rigs and one 2000-hp rig from Shiv Vani, drilling each well to around 3000 metres. One of the wells is nearly completed.

But ONGC is planning to drill eight more appraisal wells at the 1496-sq km block by early next year. “According to initial estimates Khubal can produce up to 2m cm/d of gas,” says a senior ONGC source.

“But we believe it has more potential. That’s why we will reprocess old 3D and drill new wells.

” ONGC, he adds, will issue a tender to hire an international consultant to reprocess and interpret over 1000-sq km of 3D shot at the block. It is likely to take six months to select a consultant and complete the job after which ONGC will identify drilling locations.

ONGC wants to monetise its gas from Khubal by setting up a gas-based urea factory nearby in partnership with KK Birla Group company Chambal Fertilisers. ONGC and Chambal signed a MoU in April this year to build a 1.3m t/y urea factory which can take 2.4m cm/d.

In July both firms hired Tata Consulting Engineers to carry out a pre-feasibility study.

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