ONGC wants ECS approval for four discoveries

Vol 17, PW 13 (13 Feb 14) Exploration & Production

ONGC has oil ministry support for a backdated 12-month extension to exploration at offshore block KG-OSN-2004/1 for four discoveries made after Phase-I ended.

ONGC's application for the extension will most likely go to the Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) this month (February) with full ministry backing. “The PSC doesn’t allow extensions after the exploration phase ends,” says a ministry official, “so we want the ECS to approve the proposal.

” Phase-I at KG-OSN-2004/1 ended on May 24, 2011 but delayed defence ministry clearance and difficult geology forced ONGC to apply for an 18-month extension to January 5, 2013. Even this wasn’t enough to complete the Minimum Work Programme of eight wells so ONGC boldly continued drilling, making four new discoveries, for which it wants the backdated 12-month extension.

Assuming ECS approval ONGC also wants to submit a revised appraisal drilling programme for six gas discoveries made at the block with plans to drill at least five appraisal wells in the discovery areas, three more than previously proposed in August 2012 for earlier discoveries CS#1 and AL#1. “These are small discoveries so we want to develop them together,” explains ONGC, which also wants to reprocess 1370-sq km 3D shot by WesternGeco and CGG between March 2009 and October 2010.

BG relinquished its 45% stake at KG-OSN-2004/1 in September 2011 leaving ONGC with 100%.