ONGC planning 'Relief Well' at Olpad blow-out

Vol 18, PW 17 (23 Apr 15) Exploration & Production

ONGC is planning to spud a 'relief' well on (Saturday) April 25 to contain a blazing fire from a 'blow-out' at the Olpad#31 well at its Ankleshwar asset in Gujarat on April 18 that left 12 injured.

Witnesses say the site resembles a war zone with scores of ONGC emergency vehicles, fire engines and police vans parked on the Olpad-Barbodhan road. ONGC wants to prevent gas settling to the bottom of the well as this will make it difficult to flow into the relief well, further fueling a raging underground fire.

"We'll divert gas to the relief well and either contain or burn it out," reports an ONGC source. He adds ONGC will spend Rs20,000-30,000 ($318-$477) per metre or Rs1.4cr-2.1cr ($220,000-$330,000) in total to drill the 'relief' well, located 200 metres from Olpad#31.

Using a company-owned rig, ONGC will begin directional drilling to a depth of 700 metres and hopes to complete the well by May 1. As we go to press, work on the well foundation has begun.

Producing 20,000 cm/d, gas from Olpad#31 began leaking on April 15 during a workover operation by Kolkata-based Sitaram Energy & Logistics. "The workover began on April 14," adds ONGC, "and should have ended by April 21."

But a 'blow-out' happened at 550 metres depth when the well ignited during repairs to the BOP, we hear.