ONGC to drill two 'wildcats' in KG basin

Vol 17, PW 8 (14 Nov 13) Exploration & Production

ONGC is poised to begin drilling two shallow water 'wildcats' early next month (December).

One will be drilled at NELP-VIII block KG-OSN-2009/1; the other at adjacent block KG-OSN-2009/2, also won in NELP-VIII. Taking advantage of the 'fair weather window, beginning this month (November), ONGC will use one of four rigs it has on the eastern offshore: Aban-II, Deepsea Matdrill, Noble Duchess or Actinia.

"A decision will be taken closer to spud date," we hear. Both blocks lie in water depths ranging from 10 to 40 metres and each well is likely to take two months to drill.

ONGC will drill the well at KG-OSN-2009/2 to 1360 metres TD and the well at KG-OSN-2009/1 to around 1000 metres TD. Three wells were committed at each block during the four year Phase-I, which began on June 30, 2010 when PSCs were signed.

No wells have been drilled yet, says ONGC, because of problems getting clearances. In June this year both blocks were also at the centre of an ONGC row with Indian seismic contractor Hind Offshore over its inability to complete a 2900-sq km 3D survey.

Time lost because of this and other factors is forcing ONGC to press the DGH for a 268-day Phase-I extension. ONGC (80%) shares KG-OSN-2009/1 with NTPC (10%) and Andhra Pradesh Gas Infrastructure Corporation (10%).

APGIC (10%) also has a stake at KG-OSN-2009/2 with ONGC (90%).