No luck for NTPC after drilling 4 Cambay wells

Vol 18, PW 22 (02 Jul 15) Exploration & Production

First-time operator NTPC isn't having much luck drilling at onland Gujarat block CB-ONN-2009/5.

About to complete the fourth of seven back-to-back Phase-I exploration wells, NTPC has yet to identify any well worth even testing. Well NTPC-A2, its latest, was spud in May using 1000-hp John Energy rig John 27 hired at $16,000/day.

"It will be drilled to 2500 metres," confirms NTPC on June 29. "So far we've drilled to 2300 metres.

Drilling should be completed next week." NTPC is targeting the Olpad, Cambay and Kalol geological formations with its drilling programme. In April it drilled a third well NTPC-G to 2200 metres; in March it drilled the second well NTPC-A1 to 2000 metres and in February, it completed drilling NTPC-E, its first exploration well.

Another NTPC source explains it wants to follow an 'integrated' approach to testing but is first carrying out logging. "Only if the results call for testing will we begin testing," adds our source.

"That way we can keep costs under control. There is no point paying idling charges to a (testing) contractor for their equipment." An industry source adds NTPC is likely to ask its Project Management Consultant ONGC to test the wells.

NTPC committed $37.62m at this block in Phase-I to shoot, process and interpret 255-lkm 2D, 165-sq km 3D and drill seven wells.