Oil India believes Mizoram block holds 80-tcf

Vol 17, PW 4 (19 Sep 13) Exploration & Production

Sources close to Oil India feel it might make the largest gas discovery in India at its highly prospective MZ-ONN-2004/1 block in Mizoram.

Oil India is planning to begin drilling five exploration wells in October in the north and central parts of the 3213-sq km NELP-VI block, estimated to hold a staggering 2200bn cubic metres (80-tcf) in-place gas resources, according to internal estimates. Not surprisingly, the company wants to speed up drilling and has decided to hire two 2000-hp rigs instead of one as previously planned.

"As the extension to our five-year Phase-I exploration period runs out next March,” says an Oil India source, “we plan to start drilling as soon as possible.” By end-September, Oil India should sign contracts hiring rigs from Shiv Vani and JayBee Energy.

JayBee has agreed to match lowest bidder Shiv Vani’s price of Rs106cr ($21m) for a two year contract. Once the Oil India board approves the proposed drilling programme, probably by end-September, the company will begin drilling its first well to 2500 metres TD in Thenzawl district.

Oil India will drill the second well at Maubuang in Aizawl district to 4000 metres TD and the third at Darlung in Mammit district to 4500 metres TD. Two more wells at Aibawk and Phulmawi in Aizawl district will be drilled to 4000 metres TD.

Oil India is constructing a new access road to reach these wells. “This block is logistically difficult (because of the hilly terrain) and geologically challenging,” we hear.

All five planned wells are within a 90-km radius of Mizoram capital Aizawl.