Oil India ready to drill first Baghewala well in March

Vol 8, PW 21 (26 Jan 05) Exploration & Production

Oil India plans to spud its first well at Baghewala in Rajasthan sometime in March as part of a research and development programme to recover heavy oil.

Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela is partnering Oil India in this venture. PETROWATCH learns Oil India has contracted to buy a new Chinese-made mobile truck mounted 750-horsepower onland drilling rig to start the Baghewala heavy oil recovery programme.

The first well will be drilled to a target depth of 600 metres, reveals an Oil India source. Drilling should take about two weeks.

Oil India will use steam injection to try to recover the heavy oil. Steam injection is the cheapest of the alternatives we have to try to recover this heavy oil, he adds.

The API grade is less than 10. Oil India will generate the steam using water drawn from a nearby canal.

An earlier proposal to inject chemicals was abandoned because it was too expensive. Once the well is drilled we will inject 500 tonnes of high pressure steam per day into it for 100 days.

After 100 days the well will be closed and then re-opened after a month. Oil India wants to produce oil for a full year from the well.

The rate of production is anybodys guess right now. Alongside preparations for drilling, Oil India is busy commissioning surface facilities at Baghewala, likely to be completed by August.

After one year the well will be closed to enable fresh steam injection and the cycle will be repeated. Three years after producing from this well Oil India will drill a second well.

This well will be drilled to a target depth of 1600 metres in a different horizon. Like the first well this one too will be put on a three-year production cycle.

If production from both wells is successful and meets our targets we will draw up a field development plan. Oil India estimates 34m tonnes oil in-place at a depth of 500 metres and 14m tonnes at a depth of 1600 metres.

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